Adopt-a-Family program surpasses original volunteer number

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FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.

On December 3, the annual Adopt-a-Family program from SERVE, Inc. still had 103 children without an "adopter" for the holiday. Once that news spread across the county, that number disappeared and more children were helped.

"We were able to adopt out 426 kids total this year," SERVE Inc., Executive Director Courtney Harrison said. "We were able to meet everybody on our regular waiting list and all of our regular people that applied."

Harrison said this year was a record setting number of children helped. SERVE Inc. helps provide gifts to low-income children and families during the holiday season.

"We've had this for about 15 years now," Harrison said. "The community of Callaway County just completely stepped up and adopted all of those kids."

Some of the gifts children will receive range from:

  •  Toys
  •  Bikes
  •  Coats
  •  Hats
  •  Gloves/Mittens
  •  Clothes

Families as a whole will have additional items on top of what the children receive.

"We provide a full food basket for every single family, so they get a ham, or a turkey, or both if they're a larger family and all of the side dishes that go with a good Christmas meal," Harrison said. "If they're over 60 or are disabled, they get a senior stocking. They'll get a gift card, and some puzzles and some different items in their stocking."

Harrison said the volunteers have free range and can get what they want, but they tell them to get things the children would need, what they want them to have and what they think they'll like.

Dec. 14 and Monday, Dec. 17 are the gift drop-off days.

"People who have adopted one of those 426 kids, will come and they'll bring all of their gifts today or Monday and then we'll get them checked in," Harrison said. "Then next Wednesday (Dec. 19) is when families come and pick those gifts up."

Harrison and the rest of the SERVE Inc. staff are all excited for this year, but have an even bigger goal for next year.

"I would love to be able to serve 500 children next year," Harrison said. "That would be amazing."