Sponsors still needed for Adopt-a-Family

As holiday shoppers eagerly anticipate Black Friday sales next week, organizers of SERVE’s Adopt-a-Family are hoping they might take advantage of some of those deals for the benefit of the children enrolled in the program.

According to Callaway Action Network Director Julie Roark, there are approximately 280 Callaway County children still needing to be adopted through the annual Christmas program.

“We have children as young as 3 months on up to 18 years,” Roark said, noting 102 of the remaining children are age 5 or younger.

“It doesn’t cost a lot when they’re that young to give them a good Christmas,” she said.

Some of the most commonly-requested items this year are pants and shirts, boots, coats, bedding and blankets.

“The requests I’m seeing are very, very practical — there aren’t a lot of luxury requests ,” Roark said. “They’re looking for a nice Christmas, not the kind of Christmas you only dream about.”

For those who do not feel they have the resources to adopt a family, she said there also is the option to contribute individual items to be given to children with matching requests, or to give to RSVP’s Toys for Kids program.

“If they find something that’s a really good buy — like two for one or buy one get one half off — and want to bring one to us, they are absolutely welcome,” Roark said.

With multiple ways to help and so many children still waiting to be adopted for the holidays, she said she would encourage everyone to get involved with the program.

“This is a hard time for everyone, but it’s possible for everyone to participate in some way,” Roark said. “There are just so many good reasons as to why to participate,” Roark said. “This is a hard time for everyone, but it’s possible for everyone to participate in some way — it’s a great way, if you’ve got children, to get them involved.”

Carrie Bryant, of Fulton, said her children are one reason her family decided to participate this year.

“I just realized the economy’s not good and a lot of people are out of work,” Bryant said. “I have children of my own, and I thought it would be nice to provide a nice Christmas for someone else.

“I don’t think it takes much to make a big difference in the life of people who are struggling.”

She said she is looking forward to taking her children to the store and “getting them involved with the spirit of giving for the Christmas season.”

Gwen Welch of Holts Summit gave a similar reason for her family’s choice to give back through Adopt-a-Family this year.

“We decided we’re reducing everybody’s gifts a little bit and giving back. We wanted to show love and compassion,” Welch said. “My husband, when he was little, benefited from a similar program, so it means a lot to us to be able to help.”

Like Bryant, she said her family is looking forward to shopping for their family.

“We got our list the other day and the kids are all under 7,” Welch said. “It’s going to be fun shopping for little kids.”

For more information, or to adopt a family, contact Roark at (573) 642-6388.

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