‘Adopt a Family’ looks to make Christmas bright for those in need once again

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

With Christmas comes the time-honoured tradition of giving to those less fortunate in one’s community. One such way of supporting others this time of year is the Salvation Army’s ‘Adopt a Family’ program.

The ‘Adopt a Family’ program allows groups or individuals to get the details of a family and then buy the things that that family needs or wants to make their Christmas special. Sue Larson coordinates the program for the local Salvation Army.

“You can pick the size of family that you would like to adopt, and then we give you information about the family,” Larson said. “We don’t give out names, we just give them a number.”

A family in need could range in size from a two people to five or more.

“Then you go out and buy everything. We have a suggestion list of all the food items needed and then also gifts for the children. There are suggestions from the parents.”

If people are not interested in, or are unable to do the shopping then there is the option to donate money towards a family.

“There’s also ‘sponsor a family,’” Larson said. “If someone doesn’t have the time to go and shop, they can still sponsor a family. A small family of one or two would be $150 and if they wanted to do a family of four, that’d be like $250.”

The project is often taken up by area businesses to give back to the community that supports them but is also taken up by local families.

Despite increased prices across all areas, Larson says there hasn’t been an increase in applications so far this year.

“So far… we’re around the same as last year at this time,” Larson said. “We did adopt out 29 families so that was really good. Applications are slowly coming in.”

Adopt a family works in concert with a variety of other programs in the area to provide families with food and gifts.

Other events like The Bargain Shop’s “fill a sleigh” and the annual Stuff a Cruiser food donation event will be used to help families who are not adopted or sponsored to get a Christmas hamper. In Fort Frances, food donated to Stuff a Cruiser on Saturday, Dec. 3 will be shared between the Salvation Army and the United Native Friendship Centre. The food donated to other Stuff a Cruiser events throughout the district will stay local. Food donated at Cloverleaf in Emo will go to the Emo Food Bank. Donations made at Beaver Mills Market in Rainy River will go to the Rainy River Food Bank.

There will be lots of opportunities to donate time, money and toys as the big day draws closer, the Fort Frances Times will do its best to keep you updated.