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Needy families get holiday helping hand

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Kathy Martuez’s Christmas would not have been possible last year without the help of the Adopt-a-Family program.

The Diamond Springs mother of five said the organization and the generosity of others made the difference for her and her children last year.

“They were tremendous,” Martuez said. “My kids got what they asked for and we were provided with a Christmas meal and all the fixings.”
Janice Angell started the program in 2007.

“I saw a need for that type of program in El Dorado County,” she said. “At the time I was working with food distribution at Rolling Hills Christian Church and families were saying they couldn’t have Christmas. That’s how it all started.”

Since its inception, hundreds of families have been helped.

In 2007, 11 families received gifts and food through the program. As the recession hit, that number jumped to 140 in 2011.

“The increase is why we are asking for the public’s help,” Angell said. “We are reaching out to the community for support.”

Those interested in helping can choose the family size, and the gifts for less fortunate families or seniors. Shopping guidelines are provided by Angell.

She said in many cases those who donate can deliver the gifts as well.

“Your love and generosity can be a tremendous gift in itself to others this holiday season,” Angell said.

Families in need of assistance can sign up for the adoption program at Rolling Hills Christian Church, 800 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills.

For Martuez and her family, being on the receiving end was not only a blessing, but a lesson.

“It means a lot to show my kids that other people are willing to,” she said. “When we are at that point it will be our turn to give back. It’s a lesson.”

Those interested in adopting a family or a senior for the holidays, can contact Angell at jangell@sbcglobal.net.