A program that provides food, toys and gifts to low-income or elderly individuals and families in Douglas County is preparing brighten the holidays again this year.
The Holiday Bureau will accept applications for holiday assistance beginning Tuesday.
Beneficiaries will receive food for their holiday dinner and a gift for each family member. Children of those receiving aid also will be given a toy.
"The importance of it is to make sure everybody gets something for Christmas, to help out those that can't afford things for Christmas," said Kathy Martin, administrative assistant at the Ballard Center.
"We want to make sure kids get a little extra."
Those interested in assistance should apply once at the Holiday Bureau agency of their choice. The Holiday Bureau will require proof of income, proof of Douglas County residency and the names and Social Security cards of all individuals.
Douglas County Senior Services, 747 Vt., will accept the first 50 applications received.
The Salvation Army, 946 N.H., will be accepting applications through Dec. 2.
The Ballard Community Center, 708 Elm; Lawrence Indian Center, 1423 Haskell; Penn House, 1035 Pa.; ECKAN, 1600 Haskell; and Help Connection, Ninth and Oak in Eudora, all will accept applications through Dec. 13.
Last year, more than 850 families applied through the program, and more than 500 were adopted.
Some applicants seek only toys and not seek a full holiday basket.
People wishing to adopt families may begin doing so in mid-November, Martin said.
"We ought to have a few names for them."
The likely deadline for people wishing to adopt families will be Dec. 20, she said, with distribution possibly on Dec. 21 or 22.
Nearly 100 volunteers are involved in the bureau's work.
For more information, call Holiday Bureau coordinator Sherri Cannon at the Ballard Center, 842-0729.