The Adopt-A-Family program in Buena Vista County is going through a change this year. Instead of families being adopted by the community from a published list, a new toy and clothing shop is being set up at the Upper Des Moines Office in Storm Lake so parent can come and shop for their children.
UDMO will be welcoming cash donations to help buy the items, and hopes the change will encourage more people to be involved.
According to Joan Spooner of UDMO, there will be no charge to the parents for the gift items the pick out for their children at the UDMO shop. The program will serve families with children from birth through 18 years of age and still attending school.
The program will still be income based and households will have to provide proof of residency and proof of income. Last year over 500 individuals were assisted by the Adopt-A-Family program, but the UDMO office ended up having to provide Christmas for 40 families left over that did not get adopted out into the community, putting a strain on the nonprofit charity organization.
It is hoped that new participants will donate.
"Many individuals would like to help someone else out at Christmas but can't financially take on a whole family. The way the program is set up now, someone can donate a single toy or clothing item and help someone else at Christmas," Spooner said.
Upper Des Moines will be accepting cash donations, new toy, new clothing (any size for children), gift certificates to any of the grocery stores in town.
Donations will be accepted from now through Christmas at the local outreach office located at 110 West Railroad Street, Storm Lake. UDMO is tax exempt and therefore does not have to pay sales tax. All donations may be used for tax purposes as charitable donation. Any questions regarding the program this year may be directed to UDMO at 732-1757.
Editor's note: The decision not to have an Adopt-A-Family list was made by UDMO officials. The Pilot-Tribune, which founded the program with Buena Vista County Human Services, and has co-sponsored the program each year, was not involved in the decision.