Shenandoah County Social Services Seeking Santas
Not Enough Donors To Fill Families’ Holiday Wish Lists
Posted: December 7, 2012
SHENANDOAH COUNTY - Shenandoah County Social Services is seeking donors to sponsor Christmas gifts for the many needy families who didn’t find a spot in other holiday charities this year.
Several county organizations, such as the Ruritans and the community nonprofit Response Inc., ran their own programs for family sponsorships. Nine Ruritan clubs in the county joined forces to raise funds and shop for over 500 families this year through their Empty Stocking Program.
Response Inc. ran a special donation initiative and found sponsors for 24 families residing in its emergency shelter. Kristie Wilkin, director at Response Inc., said two new families have recently come into the shelter, so more sponsors are needed.
Anyone interested may contact Sabrina Shirkey at (540) 459-5599.
The adoption programs involve purchasing items off a Christmas list written by the children or their parents. The list typically includes clothing and shoes as well as one or two “wish list” items.
The Community Christmas Assistance program run by Social Services is different in that there is no cap on how many applicants may apply for aid. Social Services sends the names and Christmas lists to charitable and nonprofit organizations like the Ruritans first, but there are always families left over.
Unfortunately, many of those families likely won’t get sponsors, according to Priyanka Singhal with Shenandoah County Social Services.
“There just haven’t been enough [sponsors] for all the families that signed up,” she said.
Applications began coming in at the beginning of November.
“I probably get at least 10 applications every day,” Singhal said.
Ninety applications have been received from families so far, and 25 of those still needed sponsors as of the beginning of December.
There is no set dollar amount for how much a sponsor should spend on a family, though the commitment depends on how many children are in the sponsored family.
Janet Ballowe, who manages the volunteer shoppers for the Empty Stocking Program, said her organization budgets $40 to spend on infants and toddlers and $60 on gifts for children 4 to 12 years old. She said that’s usually enough to purchase one item from the clothing section and one from the toy area.
Sponsors for the Community Christmas Assistance Program also deliver the gifts to the home of their adopted family.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a family may contact Lara O’Connor with Shenandoah County Social Services at (540) 459-6226. The last day to pick up a family to sponsor is Dec. 14.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or email@example.com