The holidays are quickly approaching and through the Salvation Army, University of Toledo students and staff are helping those in need.
Adopt-a-Family is a program run by the Salvation Army in the Toledo area that allows people to give back to the community. Like the name suggests, volunteers metaphorically “adopt” a family in need and help provide Christmas presents and food for families that cannot afford them on their own.
Volunteers are asked to provide a stocking stuffer for each child in the family, three or four new, unwrapped presents for each child and enough food for a Christmas dinner.
UT’s Office of Student Involvement and Leadership has participated in Adopt-a-Family for the past 10 years.
“One of UT’s priorities since our newly elected President Gaber has taken office is to help strengthen the ties between the university and the community,” wrote Evita Parks, program manager for student involvement, in an email interview. “Because Adopt-a-Family is an organization geared toward specifically helping Toledo families, we would like to give back as much to the surround community members in any way possible.”
Participation in this community effort is open to all of the UT faculty, staff and students. OSIL said that local businesses who want to give back but don’t have a platform to do so are also welcome to participate.
“Last year we were able to support 30 families and our goal this year is to double our numbers,” Parks wrote. “We really want to give everyone a chance to give back to the community.”
OSIL says they already have around 30 organizations, UT departments and individuals signed up to adopt a family this holiday season.
Volunteers who adopt a family are responsible for providing the family they are assigned with gifts and a gift card to a local grocery store. Volunteers are allowed to choose the size of the family they would like to assist. Gifts need to be delivered to the OSIL by Dec. 8 by 5 p.m.
“We want to encourage all to become civically engaged on the University of Toledo campus,” Parks wrote.
Parks also said those can’t afford to adopt an entire family should not be discouraged. Toys for Tots boxes will be placed around campus starting Nov. 16 to collect toys from people who didn’t have the chance to sign up.
For more information or to sign up for Adopt-a-Family, visit the OSIL’s page on the UT website.