About 400 Lawrence area families waiting to be adopted through Holiday Bureau

Local agencies are continuing to look for Christmas elves to help make holiday wishes come true for Lawrence families.

This year, the group of local non-profit agencies managing the Holiday Bureau program had more than 700 families sign up to receive donations through the Adopt-A-Family program.

Of those 700 more than 400 families still need to be adopted, said Paul Youk, director of human services at the Ballard Center.

While demand isn’t necessarily higher than last year for the Holiday Bureau program, Youk said families were quicker to request help this year.

“Just the situation of the economy, you have more families than ever that need some assistance,” Youk said. “And we want to make sure we help children during the holiday season.”

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.

Individuals, families, businesses, churches and community groups are all welcome to adopt families. Donors are asked to provide a new clothing outfit for each member of the family, gift items for the adopted household and a gift card for a holiday meal.

Those adopting families can request the size and composition of the family.

Youk is confident that the community will support the program this year, as it has in the past.

“It really is a community-driven program. Without that support, it would be impossible to do,” Youk said.

For people interested in adopting a family, here is a list of contacts:

• Penn House: 842-0440.

• Ballard Center: paul@ballardcenter.org or 842-0729, extension 102.

• ECKAN: dburns@eckan.org or 841-3357.