The time to give is now.

The time to give is now.

"The Johnstown-Northridge Adopt-a-Family program is up and running," said program coordinator Dawn Seymour.

As in previous years, the program is accepting applications from families in need.
Applications may be picked up, and returned, at the Mary E Babcock Library and at 24 Main St.

Seymour said the applications provide information about the family, including number of children, their clothing sizes, and a wish list. The applications should include proof of residency with a photo ID and should be submitted no later than Thursday, Dec. 1.

"We are also accepting families and businesses who are looking to adopt a family to shop for this season," she said. "This program is in its sixth year here in Johnstown and we are proud to say that this is a true community effort with several churches and community groups and members reaching out to help during this time."

Seymour said last year the program successfully helped 37 area families, and she expects it will help at least as many this year, if not more.

According to the Salvation Army in Central Ohio, the Adopt-A-Family program matches individual or group sponsors with a family who has experienced circumstances that have made it difficult or impossible for the caregivers to provide Christmas presents for family members. Families are only "adopted" once in a lifetime. The sponsors provide Christmas gifts from a wish list the family creates.

Seymour said qualifying families live in the Johnstown-Northridge area, and anyone can adopt a family, from companies to individuals. Locally, she said, Tech International has been an annual supporter, and Flora's Diesel Repair, Vineyard Church, New Covenant, Johnstown Christian Church, Church of the Ascension, Johnstown Presbyterian Church, Faith Fellowship Church, the Knights of Columbus, and Heartland Bank are supporters.

"And the list goes on," she said.

Seymour said the program gives a guideline of $75 per child, with an additional allowance for the parents because the entire family is adopted, not just the children.

"We have a school on the west side of Columbus that makes a stocking for each member of every family, and the Searfoss Elementary School adopts several families each year as well," she said.

The Adopt-a-Family program involves many people both up front and behind the scenes.

"What people ultimately spend is up to them, and I would say most families spend more than the suggested budget," said Seymour, adding that the budget is more of a guideline to give people an idea of what their budget will need to be in order to adopt.

"We also have folks who share families, and that way they can help without having the burden of a whole family and still have the joy of giving back," she said.