Canal Winchester Human Services' Adopt-a-Family program hopes to serve even more people this year, matching the increased demand over previous years.
Last year's Adopt-a-Family program benefited 92 families, which included 320 individuals. That was an increase over 2010 numbers -- and already, the 2012 demand for food pantry help and for the Tools for Schools program has increased beyond 2011 numbers, according to Human Services Administrator Penny Miller.
Families seeking assistance from the program must apply by Nov. 30, she said.
"Throughout central Ohio, there will be many holiday assistance programs that help struggling families," she said. "Some will provide clothes, some will provide toys and some will provide food.
"The Canal Winchester Adopt-a-Family Program is unique and very special because we coordinate all those efforts under one program, providing a solid system of support for the families that are helped," Miller said.
According to Miller, the program focuses on providing for families, not just children. Human Services is looking both for families in need to apply for program assistance and for donors.
"Residents living in the Canal Winchester School District, Lithopolis or rural Fairfield County (not served by county services) who would like to receive assistance through the Adopt-a-Family program, may pick up applications at the Community Center (22 S. Trine St.) or the Community Food Pantry (360 W. Waterloo St.)," Miller said.
Applications are also available from the Human Services website, cwhumanservices. org.
Donors have several ways to give, according to Miller, including adopting a whole family or the children in a family, sponsoring a gift card tree, a food drive or toy drive. Human Services will again accept clean used coats in good condition for distribution as well.
"Financial contributions are appreciated and will be used to support children and families that we are unable to 'adopt'," she said. "Donations are tax-deductable. We hope everyone in a position to be a giver will partner with Human Services to make the holidays a little better for our neighbors in need."
Additional information is available by emailing Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 614-834-3888.
"The success of this program is only because the Canal Winchester community is so supportive of the work of Human Services and we can never express our gratitude enough," she said.