SOUCHERAY: 'Adopt a family' during the holiday season
Adopting a family during Christmas time is something that requires thoughtful preparation and the purest of intentions. We must set aside the money needed to purchase gifts and perhaps the elements for the family to prepare a festive meal. We must select an organization we believe will allot the gifts and food to a family in need.
We will have no control over whether the family members express gratitude or not. If this is our purpose in giving to another family, then we have missed the point of this endeavor.
The family to whom our generosity blesses may not be able to tell us, or anyone else, how much they appreciate the extension of kindness and thoughtfulness that has been given to them. They may be at a spot in their lives as individuals, or as a family, to be simply trying to survive. Our contribution of presents and a meal may be the very things that renew their hope in life and the compassion of humanity.
With these thoughts in mind, what are the first steps in sponsoring a family at Christmas? To begin, as a family, or as an individual, decide how much money you want to donate to this cause. This will determine what size of family you will be given. Next, contact a local church or the local food shelf, called the Christian Cupboard, in Woodbury.
When you share with the volunteers who are coordinating the effort at your selected location the amount of money you have to dedicate to this cause, you will be given a family to support. The volunteers will not share the names or specifics of the family with you, simply the number of family members, their genders and ages.
With this information in hand, you can set out for one of our local retailers and begin to purchase gifts that someone in your family would like to receive. Particularly if the names on your list include teenagers, consider new clothes to wear to school or out for fun. Anything electronic will always be appreciated by a young person of this age group.
For a parent, perhaps new clothes, a gift certificate to a local shoe store or new pajamas, slippers and a robe may be very helpful. You may also choose to include a new cooking dish or utensil. If you have something that needs to be replaced in your own home, due to overuse, consider supplying this for another family. If we use the items in our own homes, we can be assured another family will be using them as well, and may be very much in need of a replacement. As these replacements are not always the essentials, they may not be replaced in a timely fashion. Therefore, perhaps a new pizza pan and pizza cutter would be a perfect gift for a family who has children or teens, as pizza seems to be a staple for this age group.
Thinking about a family in need at this time of year is not only about being generous, it is about noticing the needs of others and doing what we can to provide for those needs from others who have the means to help. If you are interested in assisting others in this way, contact your local place of worship or the Christian Cupboard.
Helping another family at this important time of year will provide sustenance for them but will also give our own families a greater awareness of the needs that are currently present in our own city. Doing so will likely help our children develop a greater appreciation for all they have been given, as well.
Kate Soucheray is a Woodbury resident.