Did you know there are just 36 days left until Christmas? However, for hundreds of families in Northern Colorado, thinking about the upcoming season does not include what gifts to buy or serve for dinner but rather if they can afford any celebration at all.
The Adopt-a-Family Ministry at Timberline Church is gearing up for another year of helping these needy families in our community. In 2011, over 800 families were served with about half of them adopted directly by families, groups, or local businesses. So far in 2012, the number of families requesting Christmas assistance far exceeds what they were at this point last year. We are in for a big year with some asking for help for the very first time.
What makes Adopt-a-Family so unique? The matching! After prayerful consideration, trained Adopt-a-Family volunteers match those families wishing to adopt with those families needing to be adopted. As an adopter, you can select the family size, how many children, ages, single parent, young couple, etc. and will be matched as closely as possible to your requests.
Adopt-a-Family receives the names of families needing to be adopted through referrals from local agencies, schools, partnering churches, and church members. (Adopt-a-Family partners with about 75 local agencies and schools.) The lists of names are shared with the other main Christmas giving programs in the area (Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, House of Neighborly Service, etc.) to ensure that the same families are not being served twice and that donations are spread fairly throughout the community.
In previous years, the program has seen simple requests for a cheese sandwich or someone to play chess with. Others have requested beds or sheets with many asking for hats, gloves, and underwear. A lot of parents stress that they don’t want anything for themselves — they just want to make sure their kids have something for Christmas.
How can you get involved? Stop by the Adopt-a-Family table in the mall this weekend, November 24 and 25, and sign up to adopt a family this Christmas. In addition to picking what type of family you want to adopt, you can choose to deliver gifts in person or have them delivered by Adopt-a-Family volunteers. If you are unable to adopt an entire family, you can contribute toward gift cards instead. These gift cards are used to provide Christmas dinner for those families not formally adopted. If you prefer, you can sign up to adopt a family online by going to www.timberlinechurch.org, clicking on the Peaks menu, then Love Embraces, and Adopt-a-Family. There are numerous other volunteer opportunities including data entry, matching, gift packing, and gift distribution.
This year you can celebrate the greatest gift ever given, God’s own Son, by bringing a brighter Christmas to those in need. Adopt a family in 2012.