(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Every child deserves to wake up with a shiny new toy on Christmas morning, but the COVID-19 pandemic is making that an uphill battle this holiday season.
“The kids out there, they understand what’s going on, but they still hope Santa Claus remembers them,” said Penny Adams, AFL-CIO Director.
For 37 years, AFL-CIO has run the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program, but they've never seen a year like this.
“Between the pandemic, people not getting to work full time and the strike, we expect to see more this year. We just really do,” said Adams.
The nonprofit is expecting over 800 families needing help from Santa this year.
Those looking to adopt a family this holiday can pick a family that speaks to them.
“An adopter can say, ‘I want a family with three kids and I’d like them to be between the ages of 5 and 10.’ We will go through and try to find every family that fits that category. Then, the adopters get those sheets and they get to read about these families and read their story,” said Adams.
Pages and pages of stories.
Stories of victims of house fires, car wrecks, families fallen to illness, job loss and a mother who left her abusive relationship to save her kids.
All families are asking for a little magic this Christmas.
“Some of the people that sign up for this program the things they ask for are not extravagant: hair dryer, brushes and combs, rugs, warm sweaters. Things that many of us would not ever think was a typical Christmas gift, but for them it means the world,” said Adams.
Because of the pandemic, AFL-CIO is changing the application process.
Applications will be available for pick-up or printing and all pamphlets will be filled out at home and returned.
Staff will be taking applications until December 1st.
For more information on how to adopt or to apply, click here.