Johnstown will host an "Adopt-a-Family" program again this year, with support from the Knights of Columbus, Faith Fellowship Church and the Church of the Ascension.

Johnstown will host an "Adopt-a-Family" program again this year, with support from the Knights of Columbus, Faith Fellowship Church and the Church of the Ascension.

Last year, the program sponsored 90 families in the area. This year it could be even larger.

"We have 10 families already and we just started hanging fliers," said coordinator Dawn Seymour. "It could avalanche into a lot of families that need and not as many families who can give. It's too soon to tell. We've really just started publicizing it."

Under the program, which is anonymous, families in need may sign up to be sponsored by other families and contributors in the Johnstown area.

The program organizers ask that sponsors set a budget of approximately $75 per child, which will be spent on clothing and gift suggestions from the sponsored families.

"We try to fill as much as possible," Seymour said. "The families shop for those they adopt. That's kind of fun, because they get to go out and pick out gifts for who they're giving to, even though it's anonymous."

Gifts must be turned in by Dec. 18. On Dec. 21 and 22, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or at another specially arranged time, the parents of the sponsored families may pick up the gifts, along with wrapping paper, so they may wrap the presents themselves and see what has been purchased, Seymour said.

"The parents can wrap the gifts themselves," Seymour said. "I think they'll like to see the gifts before the kids open them."

For more than 20 years the Adopt a Family program was run by Ruth Krumm through the food pantry.

This year, Krumm turned the organization of the effort over to the Knights of Columbus.

Applications may be obtained by calling the Adopt A Family Hotline, 740-531-1529, email familyadopt@ymail.com, or web faithcare4u.weebly.com. Applications may be obtained in person at Faith Fellowship, the Mary E. Babcock Library, or the Church of the Ascension.