’Tis the season to think about giving

BREMERTON — People may be pinching pennies this holiday season, but some folks don’t even have a penny to pinch.

The YWCA of Kitsap County’s annual Holiday Adopt-A-Family program is in full swing and ALIVE (Alternatives to Living in a Violent Environment) Family Services Director Joyce Cole-Pugh is still looking for donors.

The YWCA Holiday Adopt-A-Family program has been around for a number of years and individual donors or agencies can “adopt” a family and purchase holiday gifts for the family members.

Cole-Pugh said the YWCA works with hundreds of families each year, but will only have about 100 families participate in the Adopt-A-Family program.

“Right now I have over 700 families and we probably will be adopting approximately 100 to 150 families,” she said.

Cole-Pugh said the families participating in the Adopt-A-Family program have all been actively involved with the YWCA for at least six months and display a need for assistance during the holiday season.

She said that many donors are unable to donate or give as much as they have in past years due to the current economy.

“A lot of our donors for the last five years or so can’t do as much as they used to,” Cole-Pugh said.

Donors can request the family size they would like to buy gifts for as well as request a family with children, all women or families with single fathers, to name a few types of families served by the YWCA of Kitsap County.

Cole-Pugh said donors can buy as many gifts and spend as much money as they want on their adopted family. She said some people spend between $600 and $700, while others can only afford a small amount.

“That all depends on the person,” she said.

Donors will learn family members’ first names, ages, favorite colors, clothing sizes and the family’s needs and wants.

The donor can then purchase appropriate gifts for each member of the family.

Cole-Pugh said donors only know the family members’ first names and the families never know who gave them the holiday gifts. She added that donors are invited to attend the YWCA holiday party on Dec. 20 and could possibly meet their adopted family there.

Cole-Pugh said she enjoys the Adopt-A-Family program because donating to those who need it, especially during the holiday season, makes her feel good.

“I like seeing the joy in the families and it feels good to donate,” she said. “Some of our participants just need a helping hand.”

Cole-Pugh said some less fortunate families don’t think the community cares about them and the Adopt-A-Family program shows them that “somebody out there thinks (they) deserve it.”

Donors can bring their wrapped or unwrapped gifts to the YWCA Community Center in Bremerton Dec. 8-11.

YWCA of Kitsap County also is looking for donations of gift wrap, tape, scissors, name tags, grocery store gift cards, food, clothes, shoes, new toys, board games and stocking stuffers.

For more information or to adopt a family, contact YWCA Family Services at (360) 479-0522.

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