Judy Parkins, AFL-CIO director of Community Services, sends us this report.
Since 1983, more than 60,000 people in northwest Missouri and western Kansas have experienced the spirit of the holidays because of the kindness and generosity of union members and community donations through the AFL-CIO Community Services Adopt-A-Family program.
The St. Joseph, Mo.-based effort is part of the AFL-CIO Community Services’ nationwide Adopt-A-Family program. In cities across the country, union members and other workers adopt families for the holidays, during strikes, layoffs and lockouts and when disaster strikes.
In northwest Missouri and western Kansas, Adopt-A-Family is taking applications for assistance between Nov. 1 and Dec. 17 from low-income families, individuals who are alone for the holidays and working families struggling to make ends meet.
Penny Adams, AFL-CIO Community Services director in St. Joseph, says:
We hope everyone will be adopted and since I’ve been around  every family has been adopted every year.
A single mother in the area said that without the program,
my two children wouldn’t have had a Christmas at all. When I’m able to, I will adopt a family so they can see the looks on their kids’ faces and know that Santa didn’t forget them— just like I did.
St. Joseph Community Services reports that last year 2,962 people received assistance through the Adopt-A-Family and staff reports they expect to assist even more people this year.