Adopt - a - Family registration today at CCS

Staff Writer

Those wishing to register for the Adopt = a - Family program, can apply today from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Community Counseling Services cafeteria. To register, the applicant must have a photo I.D., social security cards for everyone who lives in the home and proof of residency (electric bill, gas bill, etc.)

Rachel Pate has been at the helm of Adopt - a - Family for many years. She and her volunteers will be at the CCS cafeteria today to help those want to apply, fill out the application forms.
"We do this for the children." Pate said. "They are who we are providing for with this program. We welcome the elderly on a fixed income to apply, as well. Those who need help are who we want to reach with this program."

Pate said she usually has 12 volunteers who help her with the application process so as to take people's information as quickly as possible.
"We have the best volunteers," Pate said. "Every since Jackie Edwards and the people from Community Counseling Services joined with us, everything goes smoothly. They help with the screening process so we can let families know if they are eligible to be adopted."

Pate said Adopt - a - Family was the brainchild of the late Spanky Bruce, then editor of the Daily Times Leader. He started the program in the mid-1980's. For the for more than 20 years Pate has spearheaded the program to make sure children have presents at Christmas.
“We could not have Adopt-a-Family without community support.” said Pate. “If we can do just one good thing, make sure a child has something for Christmas, we've been successful. We do not want our community's children to do without.”

Pate said last year there was a dip in the number of people who were in need of help. She said the increase in available jobs has had an impact on how many people are in need during Christmas.
"The service is offered with strict confidentiality," Pate said. "Current circumstances are well understood. If you feel you need some help this year with Christmas presents, do not hesitate to apply. That is what the program is for."

Jane Scott is one of the volunteers from CCS who will be helping with the registration process today.
"I look forward to helping with Adopt - a - Family every year," Scott said. "So many in our community depend on us and West Point always steps up to make sure everyone has a happy Christmas."
Scott said Pate is awesome the way she organizes the registration day and then works tirelessly from the day we take the applications until Christmas Eve.

Pate said she shops throughout the year for Adopt- a - Family. She said she keeps an eye out for sales of school uniforms, clothes and toys.
"No child should ever wake up on Christmas morning and have nothing to open," Pate said. "We do not want that to happen in our community. That is why Adopt - a - Family is so important. There are so many people in our community who help make sure every child receives gifts by adopting and providing for these families. I do not do this by myself, Adopt - a - Family is West Point."
For more information call 295-7792.