We are going to have to turn many away this year. I'm guessing it will be 250-300 children which means, because we provide most of the clothes and toys they get each year, these kids will probably have few, maybe no, gifts.
Many of these children are from single-parent families; some working, some not, who struggle monthly to keep a roof over their heads and food in their kitchens. We all know how the costs of utilities and food have escalated this year.
Many of these families "run out of money before they run out of month."
If this happens it will be the first time in nine years that we have had to turn families away. And as I sit here looking at these applications I wonder "who stays and who goes."
I just got a job and am only working between 15-20 hours a week.
In need of help cause I was involved in a house fire and lost everything.
It's just me and my 2 boys and I just recently found a job and things are really tight.
Single dad and I cannot afford gifts for my kids. I take 2 buses to work everyday.
On 11-09-11 my house caught on fire and I lost everything. I'm a single mother starting all over.
My husband has been in an accident that left him disabled. He is unable to work. He is a quadraplegic. It is hard only having one income at this time. He is in a nursing home.
Things are tight. I am very grateful for this program. Just to see a smile on my kids's faces is special.
Those of us who don't have someone serving in the military tend to forget about those who do. Now Christmas is just ahead. Again, we need to remember those far from home who won't be home for Christmas and wish them a safe and speedy return to spend many future holidays with friends and families.
With Christmas just a few weeks away, the people behind the scene who dedicate time and much energy to Woonsocket's Adopt-a-Family program are busy matching families in need and with generous donors from the community.
As of this writing we have approximately 700 families, a little more than 1,400 children, matched with donors. Donors are people who will make sure these kids have toys and clothes under their tree Christmas morning.
As amazing as that number sounds, we still have nearly 300 families, another 650 children, who we do not have donors for. Many of those who are applying this year are working poor. People who have jobs but after paying their monthly bills have nothing left to buy Christmas gifts with.
Last year was the 8th year in a row that we were able to find donors for 100% of the eligible families who applied. It's very likely we won't be able to make this the 9th year; which means we will soon be sending letters out to many families saying we're sorry but we can't help them this year.
If you would like to help either by 'adopting' a family or making a donation to help with our expenses (we are all volunteers, the money goes to operating costs such as rent, postage and printing) please call us at 401-766-2291 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many have had a difficult year financially, and I know you are getting requests from many charities nationwide. Adopt-a-Family gives you a chance to help your neighbors, and we need your help.
Please call or write today and help us make this our 9th year of 100% success.
If you would like to help, you can do so by: adopting a family, making a cash donation or volunteering during Distribution Week December 11-17, 2011.
Adopt-a-Family is a little program run by a small group of volunteers, a group that swells to a small army of nearly 200 during Distribution Week in December. If you've been reading about us over the years and always thought "Someday I'm going to get involved with that Adopt-a-Family program in Woonsocket!" Make this year the year.
Please call us at 401-766-2291 and leave a message about how you would like to help. Your call will be promptly returned. We look forward to hearing from you.