NEW BRITAIN – The Friendship Service Center is looking for individuals, businesses or organizations who are willing to “adopt-a-family” to provide holiday gifts for those living in the emergency shelter or supportive housing.
The agency is trying to make sure that 24 families in supportive housing and the emergency shelter and another 52 individuals in similar circumstances have presents for the holidays. Often the families have just transitioned out of homelessness into housing and don’t have a lot of money to spend on extras, organizers said.
The program is flexible so that people who are interested in donating can do so in many ways, said Barbara Lazarski, Communications and Development Director for the Friendship Center.
“They can adopt a family or an individual and they don’t have to buy the gifts themselves, they can financially support the program and we’ll buy the gifts and we’ll do the shopping for them,” Lazarski said.
The Friendship Center has wish lists from the families and individuals but people can also donate items that any adult or teen can use, organizers said. Suggested gifts for donation include socks of all sizes, especially women’s and men’s in size large, underwear of all sizes, especially women’s and men’s in size large, winter gloves or mittens, cold weather scarves and knitted hats. Gift cards from Marshalls, Old Navy or other stores that carry New Britain school uniforms, Walmart, Kohl’s, Target, Rainbow clothing store, Eblens, the Laundromat in New Brite Plaza, Stop & Shop, PriceRite, C-Town, Aldi, Big Y, Sav-A-lot, Walgreens, CVS and Beacon pharmacy are suggested.
Citgo gas cards, bus tokens and gift cards to AMC movie theater for tickets and snacks are also needed.
The agency is also looking for gifts for children such as Barbies, or baby dolls, My Little Ponies, Shopkins, age appropriate family movies, educational toys, Hot Wheels, dinosaurs, trains, action figures, board games, Play Dough, Nerf items and Legos. Teens can use nail polish, cologne, cosmetics, hair care products, colored pencils, paint sets, coloring posters and books, Teen Titans and other teen-related items.
Those who wish to adopt a family will be given the family’s wish list. The items should be dropped off unwrapped by Dec. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Friendship Center at 85 Arch St., New Britain. The Friendship Center can accept donations for the holiday gift program up until Dec. 22 at 85 Arch from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
To sign up to adopt a family, contact Lazarski at 860-225-0211, ext. 202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.