DARKE COUNTY – Gateway Youth Programs recognized area businesses, organizations and families for participating in its Adopt-A-Child Program this year.
Darke County Beef 4-H Club, the Dues Family, Dave Johnson, Greenville Technology Inc., Mercer Savings Bank, Pitsburg Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Second National Bank, Village Green Health Campus, Webster United Methodist Church, Kiwanis Club of Greenville, Oakley Place and Whirlpool Corp. all were involved in the Adopt-A-Child Program.
“It is hard to put into words how appreciative we are to the organizations that participate in this program. It is amazing how much support they give us. This year we were lucky to add two new organizations to assist us,” said Ruth Barga, support specialist at Gateway.
This program matches local families up with local businesses or organizations who volunteer to adopt the children for Christmas. All families must fill out an application to see if they qualify for the program. Once they do, the children’s Christmas lists are given to the business or organization. Each business or organization decides what they are going to purchase for the child and then they return it to the office all wrapped and ready to deliver to the family.
This year the program assisted in providing Christmas gifts for 81 youth in 40 families. Four families also received $200 gift certificates to local grocer to purchase food with another two families getting meals as well. One family received two new beds, and three other families received bedding for the children.
Every organization puts its own special touch on the Christmas that it provides for the youth. This depends on the needs and wants of the children as well as the ideas of the organization adopting them.
“Every year brings something new with this program,” Barga said. “There are so many wonderful people behind the scene working to make a great Christmas for our families. They do it without getting to see the looks of astonishment and joy when the youth see and open the presents. All the people involved from each company and organization have big hearts and create an unforgettable Christmas for the youth. When we thank the organizations for everything they did for our families, they turn around and thank us stating it strengthens them. This program generates so much goodwill and strengthens the community. I want to thank everyone for your support. We are grateful that you make this program possible.”
Anyone who would like to adopt a child or family in the future can contact Ruth Barga at Gateway Youth Programs at 937-548-8002.
Gateway is administered by CORS, a local non-profit organization. In addition to Gateway programs, CORS offers ACES, an alternative pathway to highs school graduation for youth in Miami and Darke counties, as well as the Head Start provider for nine west central Ohio rural Ohio counties.
For more information, visit councilonruralservices.org.