Vivint Gives Back, a 501 (c) 3 organization, and Vivint Smart Home’s philanthropic arm, this year raised over $400,000 to provide carefully curated gifts to over 4,000 children in need, nationwide. Now in its 16th year, Vivint's “Sub for Santa” program is projected to impact 1,448 children in Utah County alone, and also at East Midvale Elementary and Lincoln Elementary in Salt Lake County.

For the most part, Vivint employees across all departments donate the funds for the Sub for Santa program.

TechBuzz sat down with Jonathan Bardález, Sales Manager at Vivint Smart Home, at the Lincoln Elementary event. He described the program and shared why he likes to participate in it.

“This is my 11th year with the company, and Vivint Gives Back has always been a big part of my Vivint experience,” said Bardález. 

“The Vivint Gives Back program does humanitarian outreach, such as the recent Mexico trip, and other international efforts throughout the years. But Christmas is always special, because it’s Sub for Santa, and it’s local. We always go to a local school and support the kids with their wish lists,” Bardález added.

The annual Sub for Santa program partners with local schools each year, particularly those with high needs (free and reduced lunch/Title I student populations, and other measures). Each school provides the Vivint Gives Back team with a set of wish lists reflecting wants and needs for each student in the school.

Teachers typically add personal notes that a certain child may need boots, gloves, or a warmer winter coat. They also suggest wants that the kid might have inadvertently overlooked, like a proclivity for Spider Man.

“There was one kid that got all Spider Man stuff.” laughed Bardález. “He was like, ‘Spider Man! Oh, my goodness. How did you guys know? I Love Spider Man.” 

"The teacher might have noticed that child's interest in Spider Man and may have had something to do with that particular bag of gifts," Bardález conjectured.

He shared another satisfying moment:

“I was standing there when one of the kids opened a gift and said, ‘Whoa, I got boots!’ Yeah. He's super excited. It’s his first pair of boots,” recalled Bardález, beaming.

Vivint Gives Back budgets around $100 per student for the program. Its staff is meticulous about organizing the curated gifts for each child in colorful bags that are distributed to the students in a big assembly, with each grade filing in and eagerly waiting in line to get their bags of gifts.

Naturally, teachers play a a major role in fine-tuning each student's list and adding helpful notes to guide Vivint Gives Back staff. Typically, each bag is filled with the perfect gifts for each student. Should a student have other special needs or maybe siblings with special needs, teachers can indicate it to Vivint Gives Back staff which can bump up the budget to accommodate such needs.

For more information about Vivint Gives Back, click here.

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