Community Christmas Program needs help

Submitted story

The Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. is once again coordinating the Community Christmas Program.

Each year, low and moderate income families struggle to make ends meet while still providing the same holiday opportunity for their kids that many of us take for granted. Our program coordinates with other providers to ensure those served are maximized through eliminating duplication.

Applicant families are linked to a single provider whether our organization or another in the community. Applications are taken from mid-October through mid-November and income is verified for eligibility. Applicant families are cross-checked with other providers. For those verified as unserved, Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. provides assistance through: 1. Adopt-a-child; 2. Direct gift disbursement; or 3. Referral to another provider based on eligibility.

Direct gifts are provided through funds raised by Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. throughout the year or direct donations to the program as well as events held to collect new toys. Referrals are made to other organizations seeking to serve specific demographics and are limited often. Our largest and most successful component is the Adopt-a-child model. This component links children in need to those interested in providing in an adopt-a-child model. Providers are given first names, ages, favorite colors, clothing sizes, and an idea of the toys the child likes. This can be done by individual child, full family, or multiple children.

The Community Christmas program has served more than 300 local children each year of operation. Through generous support of local leaders, churches, businesses, and others, we are able to ensure these local children have a traditional Christmas morning.

This year we have a need for support. More than 63 percent of applicants are still in need of an adopt-a-family match or to receive assistance through the donation portion of our program. We are working every day to connect with those who are willing to help fill this gap. We welcome donations of new toys, new clothes or coats, and cash donations. All contributions are tax deductible.

For more information on how you can be a part of this important program, contact us at 937-393-3458.

Submitted by Laura Bosier, executive assistant, Highland County Community Action Org. Inc.

Submitted story