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Families, donors appreciative of SERVE’S Adopt-a-Family program

by Rochelle Eiselt | November 30, 2022 at 4:02 a.m.

Families and donors are grateful for SERVE's Adopt-a-Family program.

For 26 years, SERVE has offered holiday assistance and hope that families need.

Adopt-a-Family provides essential groceries for Callaway County households that are living in poverty, and gifts for children, disabled adults and seniors over the age of 60.

The program helps families as the need has increased due to the rise of utility bills, groceries and gas.

Gifts and meals are provided directly by neighbors in the community.

This year 245 families are going to be provided meals and gifts, said Diane Henry, of SERVE Inc. Families in the program are located all over Callaway County.

The idea for the program stems from a need in the community.

"There's a great need in the community especially now with the high food prices," Henry said.

The program matches members of the local area with children of low-income families, whom they "adopt" for Christmas. Those who adopt someone will receive a list of gift ideas for the child, and will then purchase them gifts.

Adopters can buy something families want and need, and also something to wear, and something to read.

The process is confidential, according to SERVE's website. The adopters will not receive any identifying information about the child they adopt, and will only receive gift ideas. The adopted family will also not know the identity of who adopted them.

Every October families can enroll to be apart of the program.

As families struggle to make ends meet, Henry said it's nice that children will have presents to open for Christmas and to have food on the table for Christmas.

It's up to adopters to choose how much they want to spend on gifts and food each year. There's not a limit on how many gifts adopters can get families either, she said. Typically adopters will spend between $100 to $125.

Donations can be made through the SERVE website or check mail-in.

Henry said volunteers will be working for about a week and a half to get set up for the day meals and gifts are distributed.

SERVE takes volunteers and they can call SERVE if they would like to get on the volunteer list. The volunteer list can be found on the SERVE website under the Adopt-a-Family tab.

Volunteers will be taken up until Dec. 15 to help with the Adopt-a-Family program.

"All of our families are grateful for what they get because of the lack of income coming in and appreciate what they can get during the holiday season," Henry said.

Meals and gifts will be distributed on Dec. 15 at Westminster College during the morning.

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