The chapel of the Salvation Army on Friday looked like a scene from the North Pole.
Pews were piled high with dolls, stuffed animals, toys and games that were distributed to 101 needy families as part of the Adopt-a-Family Christmas program.
"It helps out," said Michelle Watson, who came to pick up gifts for her five children. "They're going to have a good Christmas."
Lawrence social service agencies have helped hundreds of families this holiday season, thanks largely to the community's generosity.
"The community really responded beautifully this year," said Janet Ikenberry, community services manager for Douglas County Senior Services. "We were real pleased with the help we got."
Judy Forney, an administrator at the Salvation Army, 946 N.H., said the community donated so much that her organization was able to help families who applied for assistance after the Dec. 13 deadline.
"We didn't want to leave anybody out, even though it's way beyond deadline," Forney said. "We don't want kids to go without."
Thanks to efforts by Penn House, Ballard Community Center, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp., Pelathe Center and the Salvation Army, more than 600 Douglas County families will receive holiday assistance of gifts and food. Most of the items have been distributed.
Douglas County Senior Services provided gifts for an additional 85 people. And on Christmas Day, the Community Drop-In Center, 214 W. 10th St., will provide hot breakfast and gifts to more than 120 of the city's poor and homeless.
"We'll have a really nice celebration with the family of people that come in," said Tami Clark, the center's executive director.
Also on Christmas Day, lunch will be served to more than 300 people at First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt. Meals also will be delivered to the homebound; call the church at 841-1516 for more details.
|Also on Christmas Day, lunch will be served to more than 300 people at First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt.Meals also will be delivered to the homebound; call the church at 841-1516 for more details.|
Officials with the city's service agencies said assistance was abundant this holiday season.
"We've had so many people call in wanting to help find presents for people," Clark said. "It's been a good thing to see."