COLORADO SPRINGS — It's December, which means the season of giving is here, and if you're looking for an opportunity to help families in need in our community, a local school district could use your help.
The Adopt a Family Christmas Drive is hoping to make Christmas a little brighter for more than 235 families in Harrison School District 2. It's a partnership with Pikes Peak United Way, a non-profit that's providing a platform and helping get the word out. Now, they're looking for more local people and businesses who want to help spread some holiday cheer to those families.
"We asked our school counselors to gather one need and one want from a family for every member of the family, that would be in need this holiday season," said Jennica Mabe, a counselor coordinator and social-emotional learning coordinator for the district. "Equity is something our school is passionate about, and this is just another way we can ensure all our of schools are helping meet the needs of our families."
Mabe says it's the first year the district and organization have partnered with one another for a Christmas Drive. Counselors at each of the 22 schools found the families in need. Many of those families have been impacted by the pandemic.
"When you read through the stories on the platform, you're going to see that they've lost loved ones, they've lost caregivers, they have lost breadwinners, some parents lost their job due to COVID but weren't even sick," said Mabe.
Information about the family was shared with Pikes Peak United Way. The organization set up an online donation page so the community can step up and adopt a family of their choice.
"I went through the list with my children and my husband and we found a family from Centennial Elementary who we're going to adopt," said Hillary Saba, a volunteer and event manager for United Way.
Her and her family are adopting another after reading through the list of families who want help.
"It was pretty heart-wrenching because I do appreciate people's honesty and vulnerability in sharing because I think that's the best way to reach people," said Saba. "It really is an emotional connection with what these families are struggling with. We don't know their names, but we know their situation."
With help from people like her, the district and organization hope this will bring some Christmas joy to families in need and provide some gifts under the tree.
"We want to lift up this community. They're an amazing community. These people are so appreciative for everything that we do," said Saba
The district is hoping the rest of the families will be adopted by this weekend or early next week. Right now, they're about halfway there. Donors will begin dropping off gifts late next week, and the following week, families will be able to pick up the gifts.
The new Amazon distribution center in Colorado Springs also donated $10,000 to put toward the Christmas drive.
For more information about how to adopt a family in Harrison D2, click here.