Del. Kicks off Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Kicks off Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - It did not feel like it outside Monday, but Christmas is just five weeks away. The time of year when many help those in need.

Delaware on Monday kicked off its annual holiday Adopt-a-Family program. It has been helping families and seniors have a happy holiday for four decades. The state is encouraging people who have the means to get involved this year. The Department of Health and Social Services says the program helped more than 2,500 people last year.

This year it will help "Lauren." The story of her family is an unfortunately common one in America since 2007. They were middle class, living a nice life, until her husband lost his job.

"We lived off severance for a while. Then he went on unemployment. That's when things financially started falling apart," she said. "Two weeks ago his unemployment was exhausted. So, there's no money coming in."

"Lauren" has two adults kids and a teenage daughter.

"I worry about our youngest, of course (for Christmas). The thought of her not having anything to open is extremely emotional for my husband and me."

It was when "Lauren" went into get help because her family didn't have heat. She was referred to adopt-a-family. DHSS Sect. Rita Landgraf says Adopt-a-Family connects people who can give with people who are in need.

"The matching anonymously," she said. "But you can get to know a family's situation and decide that may be who you want to support."

Ironically, "Lauren" says when she was working she used to help Adopt-a-Family through her work.

"Every year I picked Adopt-A-Family and the Needy Family Fund, because I always thought, there but for the grace of God go I."

Now she's the one the program is helping.

"Without Adopt-a-Family, it would have been a very depressing Christmas," she said.

Instead, "Lauren" hopes it will be a happy Christmas, especially for her daughter.

"When she opens up her gifts is when I will tell her that Adopt-A-Family helped us and how grateful we are."

There are two ways to give through adopt-a-family. You can mail the gift cards to 13 SW Front Street, Milford, DE 19963. There will also be collection sites. At the Dover Mall, there will be collections at noon on November 29 and December 13.

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