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138 families adopted by volunteer elves

by:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Janet Kiger-Hellard leads the way through a room full of gifts awaiting 138 local families.The holidays just got a little happier for 138 Estacada, Eagle Creek and Colton families.

Presents were piled high, wall to wall, in the Estacada Community Center the morning of Friday, Dec. 13.

Volunteers from Estacada High School and Timberlake Job Corps loaded presents into carts and wheeled them out to waiting families.

In a side room, Adopt-a-Family volunteers were busy with last-minute wrapping.

A line of families out the door waited to receive their gifts.

The Adopt-a-Family program strives to match sponsors with local families in crisis to provide necessities during the holiday season.

Families applied to be adopted throughout the fall.

They were asked to list items they need most, and, if they wished, to include information on how they came to be in need of such a program.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Leo Milner, a volunteer from Timberlake Job Corps, prepares to bring presents to one of the adopted families.Sponsors were anonymously matched with the families, or presents were purchased through donated funds.

It was up to the sponsors to what degree they filled their adopted family's requests.

By the look of the present room, many sponsors didn't stop at necessities.

Janet Kiger-Hellard, who heads the Adopt-a-Family program, led the way through rows of stacked presents pointing out different items.

One sponsor put together a special basket of gifts to be opened on Christmas eve.

Fresh apples perched on top of several present mountains.

Carla Austin, wife of former mayor Bob Austin, gave 20 families “green cleaning kits” with recipes in Spanish and English to use common household items such as vinegar for home cleaning.

“It brings out the best in people every year,” said Kiger-Hellard. “It's almost like a Christmas miracle every year.”




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