Sponsors needed for Adopt-A-Family

By Whitney Buffa

Adopt-A-Family Coordinator for WISE

BIG RAPIDS — With the holidays fast approaching, Women’s Information Services, Inc. (WISE) is searching for sponsors to make the season merry and bright for families in need.

Each year, WISE uses its Adopt-A-Family program to assist families living in its shelter during the holidays and families who have received support services from the agency within the past year.

WISE provides crisis intervention and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo counties. The WISE shelter and main offices are located in Big Rapids.

In 2013, 30 families — including 68 children —received Christmas gifts from local sponsors. WISE Executive Director Kelley Samuels expects the organization will help about the same number of families this year.

“It is so touching to see the look on clients’ faces when they receive these gifts,” Samuels said. “One woman broke down in tears and said this was the best Christmas her family has ever had.”

Families can be adopted by individuals, other families or groups of people, including offices or social clubs. Gifts will need to be delivered no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, to the WISE office, located at 115 S. Michigan Ave. in downtown Big Rapids.

To start the adoption process, contact Adopt-A-Family volunteer coordinator Whitney Buffa at (231) 796-6600 ext. 130. or via email at adoptafamily@wiseagainstviolence.org.