The Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services is looking for volunteers to participate in its Holiday Sharing Program, which benefits low-income families, foster children, and senior or disabled residents.
Individuals and groups can take part in the program by purchasing gifts or certificates for a designated Alexandria family, foster child or elderly/disabled resident. Gifts may be delivered directly to recipients or brought to the city’s Community and Human Services Center, 2525 Mount Vernon Ave., for distribution by staff.
“Even though we’re all undergoing difficult times, some of us have much worse situations than others, and this is a good time for us to show our support and care for other families,” said Suzanne Kratzok, the department’s coordinator of community resources. “And this is an easy avenue to make that happen.”
Already, more families are registering for the 2012 Holiday Sharing Program than in 2011 due to the increased number receiving benefits as a result of lower incomes. In 2012, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Community Partners for Children, the Holiday Sharing Program assisted 775 families, 201 seniors and disabled persons and 121 foster children and teens.
In addition to thousands of gift items distributed through Sponsor-a-Family, Sponsor-a-Senior-Citizen and Sponsor-a-Foster Child, donors also gave $12,700 in gift certificates through the Sponsor-a-Teen program and $12,000 in grocery cards for seniors and families.
The Department of Community and Human Services is also seeking volunteers to help sort and deliver gifts at the Community and Human Services Center on Dec. 10, 11 and 12 in shifts from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.