Odyssey House is looking to make the holiday season a little merrier for families in Grande Prairie, as the not-for-profit has kicked off its annual Adopt-a-Family campaign.
Director of Communications with Odyssey House Makayla Marcotte says the program heavily relies on the generosity of the community, adding people in Grande Prairie have consistently come together in a big way to help out.
“The program is designed to help individuals who maybe wouldn’t be in a position to provide a traditional kind of Christmas experience with the gifts, the groceries, and holiday items,” she says.
“I know this year has been very difficult for everyone, but we are still hoping that people can help out even a little bit here and there are able to.”
Marcotte says residents looking to adopt a family get some identifiers about the children, including their age, gender, and some suggestions for gifts. They’ll also be given, based on family size, the cost of a grocery gift card.
“Sometimes, if the family that is sponsoring is also looking to give a gift for mom, we will also have suggestions for that,” she adds.
Marcotte says the number of families impacted by strangers in the community has been exponentially growing in the last couple of years. 36 families were adopted in 2018, with that number skyrocketing to 77 families in 2019. She adds that the Adopt-A-Family campaign is one of the Odyssey House’s favourite programs for employees as well, as it makes a difference for the families on the receiving end.
“A lot of people are very emotional when they receive gifts, and they refer to it as a miracle. We had one mom that said she was amazed by the generosity and graciousness of the community, and that she had never lived anywhere before that had the level of commitment to helping people in need and on their way to getting back on their feet.”
If you are looking to lend a hand this holiday season, you can get more information on the Adopt-A-Family program by email, or by calling 780-538-1332.