Community members have until Friday to adopt the 250 families that are still on the list for the annual Holiday Bureau program.
If you’re interested, contact:
• Ballard Center, 842-0729, ext. 102; firstname.lastname@example.org
• ECKAN, 841-3357; email@example.com
• Penn House, 842-0440.
With Christmas quickly approaching, more than 250 families who might not have food or gifts during the holidays are waiting to be adopted.
Nonprofit organizations in Lawrence that make up the Holiday Bureau continue to recruit people to adopt families in need. The community has already adopted nearly 500 families.
“It’s impossible to do this program without the community,” said Paul York, the director of human services for the Ballard Center.
Among those who have already adopted families are the owners and employees at Stitch On Needlework Shop. Even before the group received a family, they were out buying stocking stuffers. This week, they are rounding out their list by buying clothes for a toddler and children’s books.
In the fifth year of participating in Adopt-A-Family, the group has a family of four and a single woman.
“It makes you feel good, and the need is out there,” owner Leslie Ahlert said.
Those interested in Adopt-A-Family should contact the Ballard Center or other organizations participating in the program by Friday. Most of the gifts to the families are distributed by next Monday.
Individuals, families, businesses, religious groups and community organizations can all adopt families. Groups can request the size and composition of families they adopt.
The Holiday Bureau asks that groups provide a new clothing outfit for each family member, a gift and a gift card for a holiday meal.
The majority of families who are on the list for adoption live at or below the poverty line, which is an annual income of about $22,000 for a family of four. Along with families, the list includes senior citizens.
Those who don’t have the means to adopt an entire family can make donations of toys, mittens, stocking hats and food and clothing gift cards. People can continue to make those donations until early next week.
Last year, nearly 900 families were adopted in Douglas County.
“Every year the community always comes out to support us. It’s a pretty great experience,” York said. “I’m still optimistic. We’re working hard to get everyone taken care of.”