GREENVILLE – For more than two decades Gateway has sponsored a unique Christmas program that pairs up local companies and organizations with families that need assistance during Christmas.
Families are referred to Gateway by staff and other service providers. All families must fill out an application to see if they qualify for the program. Once they do, they provide information on each child in the family such as clothing sizes, items needed, hobbies, interests and what they wish for Christmas. The youth are assigned a code so all information is kept confidential.
Local companies and organizations that partner with Gateway will request a certain number of youth that they want to adopt for Christmas. Families are then matched to program partners and given shopping information on all the youth. 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. Parents are contacted and presents are given to the families.
This year the Adopt a Child program assisted 64 youth in 23 families. “Every organization puts their own special touch on the Christmas they provide for the youth,” said Ruth Barga, support specialist at Gateway. “Every year I hear or see something that warms my heart. A parent will break down and cry in disbelief and gratitude when seeing the presents, a company will talk about their quest for a specific present, I never know what each year will bring,” said Barga.
Gateway thanks the following area businesses, organizations, and families for participating in their Adopt-A-Child Program again this year: Darke County Beef 4-H Club, the Dues Family, Greenville Technology Inc., Kiwanis Club of Greenville, Mercer Savings Bank, Oakley Place, Pitsburg Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Second National Bank, Webster United Methodist Church and Whirlpool Corporation. “It is hard to find a way that properly expresses our appreciation to all the people who assist with this program. They put so much work and love into this project. They are amazing. This program would not exist without you. We cannot thank you enough for all your support,” said Barga.
If you would like to adopt a child or family in the future, you can contact Ruth Barga at Gateway Youth Programs at 937-548-8002.