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Message from the Director

 

A special ‘thank you’ to everyone in the Lima and Allen County communities who brightened the holidays for children involved with Allen County Children Services this year.

Your generosity was incredible.

The Adopt-A-Family program ensured 197 children received Holiday presents this year. There were 57 people, individuals, companies or groups that sponsored families. Fourteen additional people or groups made a financial donation to the Adopt-A-Family program that allowed us to purchase gifts and household items for families.

Adopt A Family serves children whose families are involved with our agency and the children remain in their homes while we continue to work with their families to help them become stronger to the point the no longer need our assistance.

Most sponsors chose to deliver the presents to the families and from it came some heartwarming stories. Some sponsors and families were brought to tears as sponsors delivered gifts and met the families they helped. One such meeting was at our agency with a struggling mother without a home. Her tears began to flow as the sponsor, comprised of a small group, showed her the presents they purchased for her 10-year-old daughter. It was an emotional time for the sponsor, too.

Others described the innocent joy in the bright eyes of young children receiving presents. Some sponsors also spoke of the parents who only wanted their children to receive presents even when the sponsor insisted on purchasing something for the parents.

Many sponsors went above and beyond in spending to help families and children. One sponsor reached deep into her wallet to purchase a refrigerator and microwave for a family with a young child in need. Simple gifts such as laundry detergent and hygiene items for families saved money that could be spent on a utility bill or another necessity.

The Cole Collection, started by Lima native Megan Rockey, continues to help children in foster homes or placed with relatives. This year, 131 children received Holiday presents thanks to the Cole Collection.

The Cole Collection is a holiday shopping fundraiser that is held each year in early November. Ticket sales and a portion of the vendor proceeds raise money to purchase gifts. Megan has an incredible team of volunteers shop for the children. Presents are placed in large duffel bags, sometimes stuffed to the point it prevents the zipper from closing.

A special “thank you” goes to Dave and Victoria from Lima’s New Country, 92.1 The Frog. They use their talents and airway to encourage people during one day at Walmart to purchase a present for a child. And just like past years, the generosity was overwhelming with people buying enough to fill their van. The presents help ensure children in families who become involved with our agency in the weeks leading up to the Holidays receive presents.

Chief Supermarket again donated four turkeys and four hams for us to pass on to families involved with our agency so they can have a special Holiday meal.

We, at Allen County Children Services, cannot say thank you enough to everyone who participated in one of the programs or did something to help a family. While some who participated may never see the smiles or hear the joyful voices of children receiving the gifts, be assured every present given to a child brings joy and allows children in some challenging circumstances to experience the Holidays in ways many of us did and perhaps take for granted.

Thank you.

                  - Cynthia Scanland, MSSA

 
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