The Adopt-a-Family program has reached 29 years of helping families in Shenandoah during the holidays.
The program was started in 1992 by Pat Perkins and has helped many families in the Shenandoah school district during the holidays. Perkins worked for Nishna Productions at the time, and they continued the program until 2005. Then, Beta Sigma Pi Sorority took over the program until it became a community project in 2009.
Taylor Goetz and Chelsie Greene have now been the organizers of the Adopt-a-Family program for three years.
Goetz said she enjoys volunteering in the community, and combining that with her niche for shopping was the perfect fit for her. She said the Adopt-a-Family program has now become part of their family tradition during the holidays.
“My kids are getting older, and they enjoy going to pick out toys and shop for other kids,” said Goetz.
There were thirteen families adopted that first year in 1992. Although the number of families adopted varies from year to year, the program helped 64 families last year, totaling 145 children.
Volunteers are essential for the success of the program. This year the 12 volunteers include Goetz, Greene, Lori Gibson, Lesley Brooks, Cori Baldwin, Ashleigh Sons, Pat Perkins, Candice Staudenmaier, Patty Roberts, Jamie Roush, Lindy Peterson and Breanna Christensen.
The program still operates in the same manner as when it began.
Goetz said lists are provided to the program from several local service agencies within Shenandoah for families who may need help during the holiday season. Those families are then contacted by volunteers from the program and are offered help from the Adopt-a-Family Program.
The families in need, based on size, are then matched with the list of adopters, businesses, or individuals that have signed up to help with the program.
The Adopt-a-Family Program only shops for kids, and adopters are provided a list of the number of children in the family they are adopting, ages, and their wants and needs.
Adopters will shop, wrap gifts and drop them off at the Delmonico room in the Shenandoah Historical Museum building on Tuesday, Dec. 7. The adopted families will then pick up their gifts on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
Goetz said it is suggested that the adopters spend between $75 to $100 per child.
There are other ways to help the program other than being an adopter. Cash donations can be made towards the program and will be used to shop for families that were not adopted.
The deadline for adopters to sign up for the Adopt-a-Family program is Friday, Oct. 15. Those interested in helping with the program can contact Goetz at 712-246-9532 or Greene at 712-215-0105 or email email@example.com. Donations can be mailed to Adopt-a-Family c/o LBB, PO Box 307, Shenandoah, Iowa 51601.