The Adopt a Family Program in Los Alamos is seeking local sponsors to help provide a Christmas for more than 90 families who have applied for assistance this holiday season.
“Every year we are blown away by the need in our little town but also the generosity that the community shows through this program,” said Kim Knapp, Co-director of the Adopt a Family Program this year.
The Adopt a Family program was founded many years ago and has assisted many Los Alamos and surrounding area residents. In 2003, Margie Gillespie, long time program coordinator, had to step down and the Los Alamos Alpha Zeta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi took on the challenge of coordinating the Adopt a Family program.
The applying families come into the program through the Los Alamos Public Schools, which means one or more children in the family attend a local school.
“Our goal is to provide at least one “need” (such as clothing) and at least one “want” (such as a book, toy, etc.) for each child in the house, and we also have information on the parents’ needs and wants. Additionally, we request that the sponsor provide a gift certificate for the family for groceries,” Program Co-director Maureen Johnson said.
Alpha Zeta is encouraging all businesses, organizations, churches, and individuals to sponsor families.
“If you can do it, we could sure use your support,” Johnson said. “We try to make it easy to sponsor. For example, sponsors can specify the size of family that they're able to help. We allow and encourage sponsors to split a family with friends, family, or co-workers to lighten the load. We can even help them find a partner. We also take Smith's gift cards as stand-alone donations.”
Sponsors are asked do the shopping for the families, wrap the gifts and label them for the recipients. Gifts should be delivered to The Christian Church, 92 East Road, on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 13.
“Many families take it as an opportunity to teach children the value of giving. The whole family gets involved with the shopping and wrapping. Sometimes the children write touching letters to each other. Other sponsors have shared that they simply wanted to give back because at one time they were the ones in need. No one leaves without shedding at least some happy tears,” Knapp said.