HCCAO is seeking toy donations through an open letter to the community
Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc. (HCCAO) is a private non-profit organization which empowers individuals and families through opportunities and supports to achieve their maximum potential. Governed by a 15 member volunteer board, representing the private, public, and low income sectors of the community, HCCAO provides services in five area: Early Learning Programs, Emergency Services, Family Health Services, Housing, and Senior Services. The Emergency Services Department handles the Community Christmas Program. Last year our organization served 469 unduplicated children. We coordinate with most other Christmas providers in our community - most successfully with Greenfield area providers. This coordination consists of ensuring that duplication of service does not occur. When providers share the lists of families/children served it increases the capacity of everyone to make Christmas special for more children in our community who are in need. We encourage other providers, no matter how small, to please partner with us and assist us in meeting the needs of as many children as we can with the limited resources we all have.
Each year the staff sends out letters requesting donations, toys, and/or a willingness to adopt children for Christmas, and each year the response to this need grows. Applications are available to potential participants from October through mid November. Applications are processed for eligibility as they are submitted. An eligible family is determined by: completed applications with all supporting documents, household income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guideline (this can increase dependent upon the total donations and adopt-a-family commitments received by HCCAO,) and no provision of service in the current season by an alternate Christmas provider. Gifts are distributed anonymously in the second and third weeks of December. Eligible children are under age 14 unless the older child is part of a family that has children under 14 receiving gifts, we then will include the children at or above age 14.
For 2011, HCCAO has processed applications for over 700 children with 508 eligible for service. After cross checking this list with the participating providers, we still have 198 children who qualify for assistance and a bit over 200 children who are over the income guidelines, but may still not have Christmas presents this year without more participation from our community leaders. We will utilize what we have in our budget for the program to provide for these 198 children, but it will be limited to about $20.00 per child.
HCCAO welcomes donations of new toys, money to purchase new toys for eligible non adopted children, and commitments to adopt children with gratitude. Those wishing to adopt a child are provided with the first name, age, sizes, and the most desired toy for Christmas to assist in meeting the need. Additionally, we can contact families for additional information when requested. We thank you for your interest in becoming a committed partner with HCCAO in the 2011 Community Christmas Program. All donations are tax deductible. Donations of new toys, gently used toys, and money can be made to HCCAO Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. For more information, please contact Christi Hauke or Angie Mustard at 937-393-3458.