Families needing aid encouraged to reach out

    REGIONAL – The annual holiday adoption program continues this week with 16 needy families on the adoption list with many already adopted.
    Administration of the adoption program is being handled by West Central Community Action, and the Harlan Newspapers remains actively involved in promoting and publicizing the adoptions.
    Dena Briones, adoption coordinator for WCCA, said she recognizes the holidays can be a tough time for people, especially this year in the middle of a pandemic.
    “We encourage any families who may be struggling this holiday season to sign up for our annual Adopt-A-Family program,” she said.  “WCCA is here to help, and as always, this program is completely confidential.
    “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  We are all in this together.”
    Applications for families wishing to be adopted will be accepted now until December 11.  Children 18 and under, along with elderly ages 65+, who are at or below 175 percent poverty level (or LIHEAP eligible) may apply.  
    The program is especially designed to help families who are facing financial hardships and are unable to afford a Christmas dinner or new toys and warm clothing for their children.
    Families who are interested in applying are advised to contact WCCA as soon as possible.
    This year’s program is being handled a little differently because of the pandemic.  Due to COVID-19, WCCA must modify the program this holiday season, and in-person operations will be limited.
    The program will be held at the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.
    There will be only one day designated for dropping off gifts.  
    Those donating can do so on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    There also will be one day designated for picking up gifts, set for Friday, Dec. 18, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Pick-up will be drive through in the chamber of commerce parking lot at 1902 Hawkeye Ave., Harlan.
    Families are asked to remain in their vehicles while a volunteer brings their gifts out to them.
    Each week in the Harlan Newspapers, adoptees are listed by number. Donors will then choose by number which family or individual they wish to adopt.
    Donors are asked to choose the number of the family or individual they wish to adopt and then contact West Central as to what the family would like. How much is spent on the individual or family being adopted is left to the discretion of the donor.
    Individuals wishing to make cash contributions instead of adopting a family are asked to bring cash or a check to the WCCA Outreach office at 1017 7th Street, Harlan, Ia. 51537.
    These contributions are pooled together and used for families/individuals and are recorded in the newspaper as anonymous.
    The adoption program is encouraging businesses and groups to adopt a family (or multiple families) rather than sponsor a toy drive.
    WCCA also is asking the same as last year; groups thinking of doing a toys-for-tots drive or a toy collection to adopt a family instead or collect items for older children, as families with young children generally get adopted first because it is harder to shop for teens and tweens.
    Instead of a toy collection, perhaps a gift card drive for the older children (gift cards for clothing stores, fast food or restaurants, bowling alley, movie theater, Itunes, etc.) would help tremendously.
    Following is the second list of the holiday season.  Listed are those needing adoption and already adopted:
To be Adopted
4)    Male-18
12)  Female-12; Female-11

Recently adopted
1)  Female, 6; Female, 5; Male, 3; Female, 1; adopted by Sawyer, Georgia, and Erin Hudson
2)  Female, 17; Male, 14; adopted by Shelby County Chamber of Commerce & Industry
3)  Male, 9; adopted by S.A.’s BAR-BE-Q
5)    Male-18, Female-5; adopted by Fresh Encounter
6)    Male-9, Male-2; adopted by Variety Distributors Staff
7)    Female-3; adopted by Variety Distributors Staff
8)    Female-17; adopted by Fresh Encounter
9)    Female-17, Female-13, Male-8; adopted by Fresh Encounter
10)    Female-12, Male-1; adopted by anonymous
11)  Male-18; Male-15; adopted by Earling Catholic Daughters
12)  Female-12; Female-11
13)  Male-14; Female-9; Female-5
14)  Female-12; Male-7
15)  Female-15
16)  Female-12


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