By Patte Smith
Each year as the holidays draw near, families are busy planning get-togethers, cleaning the house for guests, shopping for the traditional Thanksgiving fixings and special Christmas gifts. The reality is that many people are struggling to just get by on a daily basis. This year, start a new family tradition and take the time to ensure that these families also get a warm holiday meal and have a few gifts to enjoy by sponsoring a family in need. Two organizations that need support are the Douglas/Elbert Task Force and the Women’s Crisis and Family Outreach Center.
The Douglas/Elbert Task Force’s holiday Adopt-A-Family program known as “Santa’s Sharing” needs sponsors for their client families residing in Douglas and Elbert Counties who are in need during these difficult times. The families are current clients of the Task Force and are referred by a case manager. Several opportunities are available for sponsors to participate – purchase and deliver gifts directly to a family, provide gift cards to a family to do their own shopping, and purchase new toys, gift cards, or gift wrap for the Task Force to provide to selected families. Last year, more than 200 families were sponsored and each year the need grows.
Many families do not get sponsored for a variety of reasons, so the Task Force has established a “Toy Chest” for donations. Donated toys must be new and for children up to age 14. Any toys that appeal to children today are considered the best, but the Task Force also has a list available if donors would like to see it. Scooters, Legos, musical instruments, and MP3 players are a few of the items that appeal to all age groups.
Gift cards are especially welcomed and are used for older teens and adults. The best gift cards are those to the big box stores that can be used for toys, clothing, food, or household items. Gas gift cards are extremely helpful to those looking for a job.
Please make it a tradition to sponsor a family in 2013 or donate to the “Toy Chest” or buy a gift card. Sponsorships are being accepted between November 11 and December 15. For information and an application to sponsor a family, or information about the “Toy Chest,” visit www.detaskforce.org or call the Task Force at 303-688-1114.
The Women’s Crisis and Family Outreach Center (WCFOC) needs sponsors for its Adopt-A-Family program that provides for families that have been served by the organization in the past year. Families range in size from small (one to two family members), medium (three to four family members), and large (five or more family members). Families who need help make a list for sponsors of three “needs” and three “wants” for each family member. Sponsors are not expected to purchase everything on the list, but to use it more as a guide.
Food donations, including frozen turkeys, are being collected by the WCFOC from donors to hand out to clients. Non-perishable food baskets and gift certificates can also be donated to the families. Gift cards to grocery stores help shelter clients to purchase fresh produce and dairy products. Gas cards help clients to get to appointments or job interviews – there is no shortage of needs for many people – so please help by making a donation.
This year, WCFOC is expecting to serve a higher number of clients so sponsors are greatly needed. If interested in sponsoring a family or arranging for a food or gift card donation, contact Heather Orr by e-mail or call 303-688-1094 extension 15.