SRC’s annual participation in the “Adopt-a-Family” Christmas effort by Circles of Mercy will go on despite the current pandemic restrictions.
We have informed Richard Zazycki, Circles’ executive director, that we will take a family — maybe two if needed — under our collective wing. Bill Dowd has once more volunteered to coordinate the Club’s effort.
“Please know how sincerely grateful we are for the Club’s ongoing commitment and support,” Zazycki said. “We are beginning next week our ‘Adopt-a-Family’ program. We have an intern from Hudson Valley Community College, Austin Cramer, who will be the program coordinator as part of his internship experience here at Circles of Mercy. He will be supported during the process by our dedicated staff and volunteers.”
As soon as we receive the name and makeup of our family, along with their wish lists broken into “NEEDED” and “NICE TO HAVE” categories, we will share that shopping list with all members along with details of our collection process. The deadline for Bill to drop off our donations to Circles is Monday, December 14.
For those unfamiliar with the process Zazycki and his staff use to select needy families, here is how it works.
“One of the services that Circles of Mercy attempts to provide to client families is a Christmas holiday service formally known as “Cate’s Adopt-a-Family” program. It is a supplemental program in which we attempt to match low-income client families and individuals in need with ‘adopter/donors’ who can shop and help provide the family or individual with gifts or gift cards for the Christmas holiday,” Zazycki says.
“Our program is limited to 50 families, with preference given to client families who were in the program last year. Clients enrolled in the program should not participate in another agency’s Christmas holiday program (if asked, all client information will be shared with other agencies).
“In order for any client family or individual to be eligible to take part in the program, you must contact the office to register and provide us with the following documentation and information:
• Provide Documentation – Proof of:
SNAP benefit statement (current) from County Social Services (this proof meets all requirements)
Rensselaer city address/residency (piece of mail post-marked not older than 30 days, i.e. utility bill)
Proof of parent’s identity (driver’s license, social security and DSS benefit statement)
Proof of child/children identity (birth certificate, social security and DSS benefit card)
Household income is at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines (generally income under $20,000). You must provide proof of income (last year’s tax returns, Social Security Administration, SSA, SSI, SSD and/or payroll stubs, etc.).
You must prove participation in one of the following government programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) / Section 8, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.