2017-11-09 / News

Outreach East seeking sponsors to help kids at Christmas

BY TIMOTHY MUCCIANTE
View Newspapers correspondent

Outreach East’s “Adopt-a-Child” program is looking for sponsors to help give area kids a great Christmas. This year will be the 23rd year that Outreach East has been working to help families at Christmas.

Jan Lebert, the director of Outreach East, said, “We need sponsors that will come in and adopt a child, so to speak. They look through the tags, the people who come in get to pick the sex and age of the child. They go out and shop for Christmas presents for them and bring the gifts back and then we put things together. Then the parents come in and pick up the food and gifts for Christmas.”

Lebert said Outreach East will be busy, because last year was busy, “Last year we had over 500 children that were sponsored through here last year,” Lebert said.

The program has been going on since at least 1994, when Lebert came on as a volunteer. Since 1994. Lebert has noticed some trends over the years. “The first year I volunteered here, we made 12 Thanksgiving baskets, and this year it will be over 200 baskets."

Lebert feels the 2008 recession had an impact on the number of families need- ing extra help during the holiday season. “We did see an increase in children in the program after the 2008 recession, but we've also seen the family size go down over the years. The number of seniors we help, although they are not involved in the Sponsor a Child program, are going up.”

According to Lebert, those who want to sponsor a child for Christmas should go the Outreach East office or visit the Outreach East website. "The website has a spot where they can go and sign up, they tell us how many children they want to sponsor, and they fill in the rest of the information and then we get back in touch with them.”

Outreach East is a non-denominational, walk-in, year-round emergency resource center dedicated to assisting area individuals and families with food and other essentials. Established in 1990, Outreach East services Goodrich, Davison and Otisville. Outreach East is supported by the generosity of the community through local individuals, churches, businesses and clubs; it receives no government funding.

Outreach East is located at 425 N. Genesee St., Davison. The telephone number is 810-653-7711. The website is http://www.outreacheast.org.

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