A number of below-poverty-level families in Buena Vista County are still waiting as time runs low on the Pilot-Tribune's "Adopt a Family for Christmas" program.
Each year, with the help of Upper Des Moines Opportunity charity, the newspaper compiles a list of needy families and individuals who wish to take part in Adopt a Family. This year's list is currently up to 196, with 22 still awaiting adoption. The list will be published until all of the families have been "adopted."
Each year, families, churches, clubs, civic groups, classrooms and businesses adopt a family from the list, and provide them with a package of makings for a hearty Christmas meal. Many also provide personal gifts, cards, gift certificates and other items to help make the season merry for someone in need.
Call the Adopt a Family Hotline starting Monday at 732-1757 to choose a family from the list. Report the code number for the family, which is used to maintain the families' anonymity.
Operators will be able to provide more information on needs, clothing sizes and other details for the chosen family, and details on when to drop of the gift package at the Upper Des Moines office in Storm Lake. Adopt a Family volunteers will make sure the packages are delivered to the appropriate families prior to the Christmas holiday. Foods and gifts should be non-perishable, as cold storage space is limited.
Adopt A Family has been honored with the Governor's Award for Volunteerism, and has been copied by numerous other communities across the U.S.
While it does not solve the problem of poverty, it does allow scores of needy families every year to realize that someone cares.
"We wouldn't have had a Christmas last year if it had not been for Adopt a Family," one woman said. "It has been a difficult year as a single mother, and there just wasn't any money left for presents or a special meal. When we got this wonderful package from Adopt a Family, one of my children asked if it came from Santa Claus. I had tears in my eyes, and I just told them that it came from someone who cares."
Call 732-1757 today, and make someone's holiday a bright one.
147. Mom and Dad, newborn girl, boys, 2, 5, 6
150. Single Mom, boy 16, 13, girl 13
164. Mom and Dad, girl 16, boys 15, 12
165. Single Mom, boy 15
169. Mom and Dad, girls, 16, 9, boy 13
175. Mom and Dad, girls 9, 5 1/2, 2
176. Single Mom, boy 8 1/2
177. Mom and Dad, Newborn boy, girls 7, 3, 1
178. Single Mom, girls 11, 5, boys 9, 7,
179. Mom and Dad, boys 6, 2
180. Grandfather and Grandmother, Grandson 15
181. Mom and Dad, boy 7, girl 9
182. Mom and Dad, girl 5, boys 11, 7
184. Single Mom, girls 12, 6, 9, boy 7,
186. Handicapped woman
190. Mom and Dad, girls 18, 15, boys, 11, 8
192. Couple, boys, 2, 13, girl 9
193. Couple, girls, 4, 5, 11, boy 7
195. Couple, boys, 3, 2, 4 months
196. Single Mom, girl 10, boys 7, 5