The JFCS of the Suncoast is encouraging people to bring cheer and comfort to local families and seniors in need during the holidays.
Since 2004, JFCS has organized an annual Adopt-a-Family campaign to help ease the burden on parents struggling to provide holiday meals and gifts to their families. Donors can also brighten the day of seniors in isolation. JFCS has more than 300 children and 150 seniors waiting to be adopted for the 2021 holidays. Since its inception, more than 1,800 children from over 600 families have benefited from the program.
“I have had the pleasure of hosting the Adopt-a-Family/Adopt-a-Senior programs for the last four years and it warms my heart to see how generous donors are in the local area,” said Karen Pharo, director of community outreach at JFCS. “Some of the donors deliver the gifts to the families in person and lots of tears are shed. It is wonderful to know that these families and seniors do not have to go without during this season. The community really pulls together during this time.”
In 2020, donors adopted over 300 children, with donations totaling more than $60,000. Over 150 seniors received gift bags.
Those wishing to adopt a family should be willing to purchase a gift card from a major retailer to help the parent shop for food. Donors will also purchase one or more of the items on the children’s holiday wish lists, as well as clothing and shoes. Those adopting a senior will provide gift bags filled with hard candy, stamps, notepads, pens, hand lotion/sanitizer, lip balm, tissues, socks, magnets, and store gift cards.
How to participate
To adopt a family or senior, email Pharo at email@example.com. JFCS is accepting Christmas gifts for families, children and seniors until Dec. 10. For more information on the program, visit jfcs-cares.org or call call 941-366-2224.
JFCS programs support youth, families, seniors and veterans. Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, services are delivered on a nondenominational basis with the goal of empowering individuals and families toward self-sufficiency and stability.
Submitted by Melanie Hayes
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: JFCS of the Suncoast seeks Adopt-a-Family donors for holiday cheer