By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
As the Adopt A Family program enters its 40th year, AFL-CIO Community Services could be looking at another big year of families in need.
Executive Director Nichi Seckinger says after one week of accepting applications for the program, 245 people have already signed up.
Seckinger says taking that number and multiplying it by three gives her staff an idea of how many families could be up for adoption this year.
"So, if we already have 250 now, if it doubles before next week and we get 500 in that first week, it's going to be one heck of a year," Seckinger tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "But we've had years where we've had it that way, the year of the flood we had about 1,200 families, so it's not unusual during hard times for us to see a flux."
Last year the agency saw more than 800 families in need apply and at the wire got every need filled.
Seckinger says if that current number continues to crawl higher, they'll begin getting word out to regular donors about the increased need.
"When we can go to those regular supporters and those continued supporters and kind of give them the information and let them know where we're at as well, they're really good about helping us get the word out and they're really good about not only providing support themselves but helping us find additional support along with that," Seckinger explains.
"So, we're really lucky that way in that we have kind of a support system within our donors for the program."
You can pick up applications through December 1st and they must be submitted by December 4th. Adopters can apply for a family now.
AFL-CIO Community Services in St. Joseph has hit a historic mark with the 40th year of the Adopt A Family program.
Seckinger says it's crazy to think about how long the program has been around and how many families it has helped.
"In the past probably 10 years we've seen more and more folks that come in and say when I was a kid my family got help and now I'm able to help and so we're doing this or I talked to my siblings and we all decided instead of having our adult Christmas exchange we want to do Adopt a Family and we're all finally to a place where we can afford to do this and we want to do this," Seckinger says.
Seckinger says it's unbelievable to think that the program has become a tradition for families during the holidays.