WOONSOCKET – Woonsocket Adopt-A-Family is back for 2021 after making the very difficult decision to suspend the 2020 season.

The program anonymously matches families of children in need from Woonsocket with donor families throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Each recipient family is provided a full Christmas for each child that is “adopted.” This 100 percent volunteer program typically assists approximately 1,900 children from nearly 1,000 families in Woonsocket. Adopt-A-Family is not affiliated with any other similarly named organization, local or national, and does not receive any government funding.

After missing last year for the first time in over 35 years, the Adopt-A-Family board is busy organizing and preparing for what will most likely be a challenging year. As the pandemic continues and work habits of some of our major corporate donors have significantly changed, there remains some uncertainty regarding the numbers of donors.

In a press release, the Adopt-A-Family organization said they are happy to welcome back all previous donors, many of whom have contributed for multiple years in the past. In addition, new donors are more than welcome. A donor can choose to “adopt” one or more children. New donors should visit www.woonsocketadoptafamily.com and click on the Donor tab. Monetary donations are also accepted and may be sent through the website via Paypal or by mail to Adopt-A-Family, PO Box 7665, Cumberland, RI, 02864.

In early December, all of the gifts are collected from donors and re-distributed to recipients during distribution week. Distribution week is typically scheduled for mid-December at the Elks Lodge in Woonsocket. The organization will need volunteers to help during distribution week and will work hard to ensure everyone's safety by following CDC guidance as it pertains to COVID-19.

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and the ability to speak Spanish is a definite plus. See the Volunteers tab on the website for more information.

Recipients should pick up an application form and instructions for completion at Community Care Alliance; further details are included on the Recipients tab on the Adopt a Family website. Completed applications should be taken to an intake session at St. James Epispocal Church, 24 Hamlet Ave. in Woonsocket. The intake sessions will run from Monday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Nov. 19 and any applications received past Nov. 19 will not be accepted. Intake times are Mondays, 3:30-6 p.m. (except Oct. 11), Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information about the program, visit the Adopt-A-Family website, send an email to woonsocketadoptafamily@gmail.com or leave a message at 401-766-2291.

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