More than one-thousand local families will have a brighter holiday

4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, December 07 2017 Dec 7, 2017 Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:00:00 AM CST December 07, 2017 in News
By: Jasmine Ramirez, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Holiday kindness is alive and well as thousands of gifts and donations are given to sponsored families, children, people with disabilities and seniors in Columbia through the Voluntary Action Center.

"We are going to serve about 1,037 families this year," said Executive Director Nick Foster. "That means somewhere between thirty-five-hundred and four-thousand individuals overall."

Distributions begin Thursday and will continue throughout next week.

Bags of gifts line the hallways, fill entire rooms and even touch the ceilings of the Trinity Presbyterian Church as sponsors bring in their donations.

Foster said the Holiday Program collects more than toys and games but also gives basic need items and hygiene products such as toilet paper, laundry detergent and toothpaste. 

An entire room at the church is filled with donated bicycles.

Families also receive gift cards and vouchers for holiday meals. 

One volunteer said she has been helping with the Holiday Program for 27 years.

"I started out emptying cars, carrying in boxes and organizing rooms," Helena Kiessling said. "Every year I think maybe I'm not going to be able to do it again but I do. I'm here and I'm very fortunate to do so."

She said volunteering with the Voluntary Action center has changed her life.

"I lost my son in 1990 and I needed something to do," Helena said. "One of my friends recommended the Volunteer Action Center and I just came here and it saved my life that year.”

For Sandy Rodriguez, this year was her first time volunteering for the Holiday Program. She said everyone is incredibly welcoming and it is great to watch the sponsors pour in with donations.

Local families apply in the early fall to receive gifts for the holidays and are then matched with a sponsor said Foster.

He said there are still about forty families awaiting sponsorship and it is not too late to donate. Gift distribution will continue next week.

Visit the Voluntary Action Center website if you wish to donate or volunteer for the 34th annual Holiday Program. 

More News

Grid
List
OSAGE BEACH - Miller County sheriff’s deputy Casey Shoemate is being remembered for his great personality and his love for... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:33:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Here are the facts on violent crime in Columbia. For the year of 2017, there were 610... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:25:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A TARGET 8 fact check finds mid-Missouri county jails do not hold inmates charged with marijuana-related offenses in... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in Top Stories
AUXVASSE - Linnenbringer Farms is a third-generation farm selling beef, chicken and eggs in mid-Missouri. Luke Linnenbringer chose to follow... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Sexual assault survivors said a march in Sedalia Tuesday sent an important message. Kimber Gish said, “I... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:54:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Federal health officials announced Tuesday they will be cracking down on the nationwide sale of Juul e-cigarettes to... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As prom and graduation seasons approach, underage drinking has become a hot topic in schools and amongst the... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Opponents of President Donald Trump's environmental policy call his changes to regulations "ludicrous." Professors and scientists gathered... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:09:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The People for Ethical treatment of Animals, PETA, protested Tuesday against animal research on MU's campus. Organizer... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 5:01:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
MISSOURI - A new report from the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit group advocating for gun control, shows that Missouri... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - As prom season begins, Rock Bridge High School said it will be breathalyzing its students upon entry to... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — The legal battle between lawyers from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and St. Louis prosecutors is escalating, with... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County deputies arrested a man on Monday after he allegedly tried to meet up with who he... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:01:30 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but its leadership isn't content with where the... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:44:00 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Monday, more than 100 volunteers began the week-long effort to deliver more than 5,700 meals to raise... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:04:00 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council met Monday night in a work session to discuss ways to improve Columbia's water... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Hundreds gathered at the first ever Japanese Spring Festival on MU’s campus Monday afternoon. Student Momoko Tamamura came... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY – One local woman is reflecting on her decision to vote for President Donald Trump after some have... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 7:00:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
2am 57°
3am 56°
4am 55°
5am 54°