East Idaho News: Christmas Giving Project for Needy Families Was Nearly Canceled Until This Local Business Came to the Rescue

Melaleuca Global Headquarters in Idaho Falls, Idaho

This news story, which was written by Mary Boyle, was originally published by East Idaho News on

IDAHO FALLS — A local company stepped forward to help hundreds of families.

The Holy Rosary Church, Christ the King Church, the First Presbyterian Church (and many others) work together under the umbrella of St. Vincent de Paul to help families in need with The Christmas Basket Project. The charitable project has been providing free food, clothing, toys and bikes to east Idaho families for 46 years.

This year, organizers found themselves without a place to work.

Volunteers spent dozens of hours over five months searching for a facility large enough to accommodate their work. After numerous phone calls, nothing had panned out and they were desperate.

Two days before St. Vincent DePaul was planning to cancel the event, organizers were praying a space could be found. The Christmas Basket Project needed a Christmas miracle.

Melaleuca came forward to provide one.

It was in the middle of moving warehouses, and had just leased a brand new warehouse near its global headquarters at 609 West 65th South in Idaho Falls.

“The effort requires a large, vacant warehouse space each year (at low or no cost) for roughly four weeks,” Melaleuca spokesman Tony Lima tells EastIdahoNews.com.

CEO Jerry Felton agreed to let The Christmas Basket Project use the space.

Several days later, volunteers got the Christmas miracle they’d been searching for. Melaleuca employees gave volunteers a set of keys to a brand new, 28,000-square-foot warehouse to use through the holidays, free of charge.

“Everything now changes for these Christmas angels as they have the ideal space to collect and distribute food and presents,” Lima says.