COLORADO SPRINGS — With the holidays around the corner, it’s going to be tough for some families this year. However, a local effort is underway to help families in need in Colorado Springs, and you can be a part of helping them have joyous and festive Christmas.
It’s through the Adopt-A-Family holiday gift drive, where can adopt a family in Harrison School District 2. It’s a partnership between Pikes Peak United Way and Harrison School District 2 that’s now in its second year running.
With the help from Pikes Peak United Way, the district has identified around 250 families from 19 schools that are identified to receive gifts.
“You don’t realize how little a family can get by on until you see their holiday wish list,” said Elizabeth Quevedo, Director of Community Impact at Pikes Peak United Way. “Adopt-A-Family provides for basic needs, but also goes a little farther to provide holiday cheer by filling some of those ‘wants’ as well.”
The most requested items are shoes, with nearly 400 pairs of shoes on wish lists. Parents also asked for coats for their children, with nearly 200 coats on wish lists.
Last Christmas, Jesus and his family received gifts. Jesus is is a 15-year-old student at Harrison High School who got clothes, a play station gift card, guitar picks and some ear buds last year.
“They gave pretty much everything, and it was amazing. It was a miracle,” said Jesus. “I got all that and I was stunned because people really do care.”
Last year, Pikes Peak United Way saw more than $207,000 in donated gifts. Some of those gifts went to families at Centennial Elementary School.
“Sometimes it can be a stressful time for families, and so for families that might be struggling a little bit to get by, or who have had temporary setbacks, this is an amazing opportunity,” said Kim Noyes, the principal at Centennial Elementary School.
Noyes says there is a large need this year at the school. She read off one family’s wishlist for the holiday.
“This particular family has three amazing daughters and they just relocated to Colorado. They've had a tricky time adjusting and they're saying they may not be able to afford Christmas,” said Noyes.
“The girl, age eight, is in need of a jacket for winter, and wants to have a Latina doll. The girl, age 10, would like have a purple Fitbit and she really likes art supplies. The girl, age 14, also wants a Fitbit but she wants hers to be pink,” Noyes added. “I noticed that the mom is really interested in having pots and pans and would also love to have any MP3 player, so she can listen to music while she cooks.”
Families, businesses or organizations who adopt a family, can go on the Pikes Peak United Way’s website, and pick out a family they want to adopt. There, you can read a description of each family, and learn more about their wants and needs for gifts during the holidays.
“It’s amazing to see the community come together to give those who are struggling this holiday season, a wonderful holiday,” said Noyes.
Of the families who have wish lists, some just moved to Colorado, while others have faced a loss in their family, lost their job, or struggle with transportation. However, a little help can go a long way during the holidays.
“Thank you, you really made someone's day, you made my mom's day, you made my day,” said Jesus.
If you’re interested in adopting a family, you have until December 2nd to sign up. A little more than 80 families have been adopted so far. Pikes Peak United Way is hoping that all 250 families will be adopted by December 2nd.
To adopt a family this Christmas, click here.
Donors will drop off their gifts Wednesday, December 7, 2022, or Thursday, December 8, 2022, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at:
Pikes Peak United Way Family Success Center, 1520 Verde Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Families will pick up their wrapped gifts on December 12, 2022, and December 13, 2022, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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