Sponsor a Family This Holiday Season
Thursday, November 22, 2012
"Sponsor a Family" is the holiday program that provides food and gifts to low-income families and seniors in Geauga County. For the past 40 years, Geauga County Job and Family Services has coordinated the Sponsor-a-Family program during the holiday season.
When it first began in 1971, Sponsor a Family provided two dozen families with Christmas baskets. Last year, 580 families, from every geographic location in the county, received help through the Sponsor-a-Family program. This included more than 1,240 children who received toys and gifts. In addition, between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds of food was donated, sorted, packed and delivered.
Sponsor a Family matches low-income families who need assistance during the holidays with area churches, organizations, companies, families and individuals who would like to help.
Families, foster children, and seniors are referred to the program. The goal is to match as many families as possible with sponsors from the community. Those not matched with a designated sponsor will receive food and gifts from donations Job and Family Services receives.
Sponsor a Family is a unique program and would not be possible without the generosity of community members. Area schools, businesses, organizations and churches collect food and toys to donate while individuals and families have made donating to Sponsor a Family part of their holiday tradition.
Monetary donations are used to purchase meat, staples and other basic items.
Sponsor a Family volunteers are an essential part of the program. Volunteers donate time to sort and pack food and gift donations for the families and make deliveries.
Toy collection drives will begin the week of Nov. 12 at the following collection points: The Middlefield Banking Company in Middlefield (main branch); Huntington Bank branches in Middlefield, Chardon and Burton; and Geauga Savings Bank in Newbury.
To make donations, volunteer time or for any additional information on the Sponsor-a-Family program, contact program coordinator Sara Shininger at 440-285-9141.
Monetary donations are accepted to purchase food and other items not provided by donations. Checks must be made payable to "Special Services." Include "Sponsor a Family" in the memo portion of the check. Checks can be mailed to Geauga County Job and Family Services, P.O. Box 309, Chardon, OH 44024. New toys, coats and other donations are accepted at Geauga County Job & Family Services, 12480 Ravenwood Drive, Chardon.