Welcome Warehouse hopes to add a few people to your holiday shopping list.

Welcome Warehouse hopes to add a few people to your holiday shopping list.

Need for this year's holiday adopt-a-family program has increased by 100 percent over last year, said Julie Fletcher, director of the program. She hopes the community steps up to provide a happy holiday for those in need.

Welcome Warehouse started the annual adopt-a-family program four years ago.

"The very first year we had 50 families and this year we've had a 100 percent increase in need over last year," Fletcher said. "We have over 200 families."

Fletcher attributes the increase to both the economy and more awareness of Welcome Warehouse and its programs.

"We knew we would have an increase this year, but we didn't know it would double," she said. "I don't know if it's so much that need has increased. We do have two guidance counselors on the board and the community knows about the program. The word is out. People know about us, so they know how to utilize the service more."

Families are on the adopt-a-family list for a variety of reasons, Fletcher said. Some have experienced job loss, medical problems, death or domestic violence.

"With this economy there are many different situations right now," Fletcher said.

According to Fletcher, families get involved with the program through Dublin City Schools.

"The majority of our families are identified through the Dublin City Schools and that's by the guidance counselors," she said. "They get the permission slips to the families and they agree to be part of the program."

Parents receive $75 of gift cards to grocery stores for a holiday dinner, but children are the primary target of the program, Fletcher said.

"We don't do gifts for the parents. The adopt-a-family program is really for the children. Each child is expected to receive up to $100 of gifts," she said.

The families supply wish lists for each child, so anyone who adopts a family will have a few ideas.

Welcome Warehouse is looking for people to sponsor families for the program or donate money. Sponsors will receive a wish list for children in the family and have the choice of delivering the gifts to the family or having Welcome Warehouse do it.

Fletcher said sponsors can choose the number of children in the family to match their contribution. Sponsors of the adopt-a-family program range from groups to individuals, she said.

"We have a lot of sponsors that are actually groups. Some (Dublin school) classes are adopting families," Fletcher said. "We have churches that take several families. The Kiwanis Club usually takes several families. We have hockey teams and Girl Scout troops. We also have individuals or families."

If sponsoring a family seems too expensive, Fletcher said Welcome Warehouse also is collecting cash donations on its Web site via PayPal.

Fletcher said the organization has volunteer shoppers who will use the donated money to purchase gifts for families not adopted.

In previous years, Fletcher said families have been adopted "up to the wire," but with the need up 100 percent, she's hoping families are adopted soon.

"Ideally, all the families will be matched to a sponsor by Dec. 10 since the delivery date (of the gifts) is Dec. 19," she said.

For more information or to adopt a family or donate money to the program, go online to welcomewarehouse.org or call (614) 726-6958.