Weekly Feature



2017-11-29 / Lifestyles

Community Services kicks off annual ‘Adopt-A-Family’ campaign

by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ
Reporter


Mariah and her parents pose in front of their holiday gifts from the Adopt-A-Family campaign, which is organized by the Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled. Mariah and her parents pose in front of their holiday gifts from the Adopt-A-Family campaign, which is organized by the Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled. People throughout Western New York will have an opportunity to make a wish come true this holiday season. Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled holds an annual campaign that is designed to help support low-income families at this time of year.

This “Adopt-A-Family” campaign is organized by the agency’s Parents and Youth Program, which has service coordinators who help link families to community resources and services to help them live independently in the community.

Erika Carlson, community relations specialist for

Community Services for the

Developmentally Disabled, said the campaign started more than 15 years ago through the organization’s employees.


The Adopt-A-Family campaign helps young children such as Jessie receive gifts in the holiday season. The Adopt-A-Family campaign helps young children such as Jessie receive gifts in the holiday season. “They make home visitations with the families we support, and it was noted that some families might not have the means to purchase holiday gifts,” Carlson said. “This is our way of connecting this agency with community members to give back to those families.”

Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled was founded in 1989 and has a staff of more than 800 individuals who service more than 40 programs with an average of 1,600 people every day among the five different locations.

Its mission is to secure financial resources and manage funds that support organizations, activities and individuals that provide improved services for those with developmental disabilities in Western New York.

Through the Adopt-A-Family campaign, typically Community Services will assist somewhere between 70 and 80 families per year and around 200 to 250 people overall. With this being the holiday season, gifts will vary from toys to food as well as clothing. Some of the popular items include gloves, hats, coats and scarves.

“Our employees will make a wish list for the family, and the list will be provided to the donor with the name, age, gender, clothing size and some specific wishes a family might have,” Carlson said. “We have lists for single adults as well as families of all different sizes.”

If a family has more than one child,

Community Services asks that the same number of gifts be given to each child so no one feels left out.

“We have had a very good amount of success with our donations over the last several years,” Carlson said. “Companies have chipped in with big donations in the past, such as Praxair, M&T Bank and Walsh Duffield Companies. We also reach out to businesses, civic organizations and individuals as well.”

Community Services will accept any donation, and there is no minimum amount that needs to be spent. According to Carlson and fundraising coordinator Caroline Hurley, the deadline to have all gifts dropped off or picked up is Friday, Dec. 15, because the employees need time to schedule gift deliveries to the families.

“Over the last several years, we have received great feedback on this campaign from the families our agency works with,” Carlson said. “It truly is a great tradition we have in place, and it is something we hope to continue for years to come.”

Gifts can be picked up by Community

Service employees or dropped off at 452 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, until that deadline. For those who wrap gifts, Community Services asks that they include a name tag. There will be employees available to wrap gifts as well.

“The families themselves have changed over the years, but we get usually around the same amount of families,” Carlson said. “There are definitely more families than when we first started, just because our agency as a whole has grown a lot in the past 25 years.”

Community Services accepts monetary donations to be used to purchase gifts, and those can be made to www.csdd.net/adoptafamily. For more information on the Adopt-A-Family campaign, contact the Parents and Youth Program coordinator, Tammie Schreiner, at 883-8002, ext. 457, or tschreiner@csdd.net.

email: nickk@beenews.com

Return to top


Clarence Special Events 2018
Click for schedule