Public leaders donate over 1K thank-you kits to Utah foster families

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Utah’s foster families were in for a treat as Utah First lady Abby Cox launched her Show Up initiative Saturday afternoon.

On May 8, Utah First Lady Abby Cox handed out 1,500 thank you kits to Utah’s foster families from the greater Utah County area.

According to public officials, the kits were put together by the First Lady’s team and board, as well as Governor Spencer Cox’s senior staff and cabinet members at the First Lady’s initiative launch event, “Show up”, on April 27th.

Utah First Lady Abby Cox says the intiative is a rallying cry to Utahns everywhere to reach out wherever and however they can to build caring communities that Show Up with empathy and understanding. 

Event attendees Showed Up throughout the day to serve foster and kinship families and to collectively share the First Lady’s message: Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Utah’s children and families.

Utah First Lady Abby Cox tells ABC4 Show Up includes four specific focus areas: 

  1. Expanding Utah students’ and teachers’ social and emotional learning abilities, including the abilities to resolve conflicts, be socially and emotionally aware, manage self, gain relationship skills, and take personal responsibility for their actions. 
  1. Providing more Utah students with the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics Unified Sports program, where students of all abilities participate in sports teams together. 
  1. Supporting Utah’s foster children and their families through awareness, service, and creating caring communities for foster families. 
  1. Partnering with Governor Cox’s office to do service projects of all kinds throughout the state. 

Items in the kits that were donated by local businesses and organizations include:

  • Sackcloth and Ashes donated 500 blankets and children’s books
  • Malouf Foundation donated 300 blankets
  • doTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation and Hope to Belong initiatives donated 1,500 bags to hold all of the items as well as 300 oils 
  • Chick-fil-a donated 1,500 free meal cards 
  • F-45 donated 3,000 gym passes 
  • Deseret Book donated 1,500 children’s books 
  • donated 1,500 water bottles 
  • The Department of Natural Resources donated 1,500 free park passes 
  • Minky Couture for donated 300 blankets 
  • Red Butte Garden donated 1,500 50% off passes 
  • Pop Zero donated 1,000 popcorn bags 
  • Winter Foundation donated 500 popcorn bags, 1,500 Uno games, 100 blankets, and as well as chocolate truffles 
  • The Paul Mitchell School donated free haircuts for all foster families and their youth in care 
  • Traeger Grills donated 1,500 grilling spice kits and feminine hygiene kits 
  • Walker Edison donated 1,500 puzzles 
  • Cross E Ranch gave a discount to all foster families for their spring baby animal festival 
  • The Warriors are doing a buy one, get one free promotion for all 1,500 families 
  • Tuacahn Amphitheater donated show tickets to the foster families in Southern Utah 
  • Tabitha’s Way donated snacks
  • Real Salt Lake donated “swag” items
  • McDonald’s donated 3,000 free meal cards 
  • Deseret News donated 90 day free subscriptions 
  • Hogle Zoo donated 4-packs of passes for the families in the Salt Lake Valley to visit them

Abby Palmer Cox became the first lady of Utah when her husband Spencer J. Cox was sworn in as governor on January 4, 2021. She and Governor Cox, her high school sweetheart, have been married for 24 years. 

Both she and Spencer graduated from North Sanpete High School and Snow College. He willingly followed her to Utah State University where she earned her degree in Special Education with a dual emphasis in Early Childhood and Severe Disabilities while he pursued a degree in Political Science. 

As Utah’s first lady, Abby hopes to inspire Utahns to break down the barriers that separate people from treating one another as equals. She is an outspoken advocate for “getting proximate,” connecting through our differences, and combating the empathy crisis our country is facing. Specifically, she will use her platform to convene, contribute to, and champion projects related to social and emotional learning, statewide service, foster care awareness and sporting opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities.

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