Hope for the Holidays

By: Barbara LaGrenade
This year we have more people than ever before asking for assistance in the MetroWest/495 Corridor Region. They are our friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Just yesterday a woman called looking for help for her two children ages 7 and 10 so they’d each have a present under their tree this year like all the other kids in their neighborhood. With cold weather and an early snow, her money was paying for rent, heating bills, and food before holiday gifts could even be considered. 
Over the years with tremendous help from individuals, local companies, and their employees, the United Way of Tri-County has supplied gifts and given hope to thousands of families. Our holiday program focuses on children in families that are struggling to make ends meet. The Hope for the Holidays program would not happen without strong community partnerships, and for that we are grateful. 
Through Hope for the Holidays we work with 29 nonprofit community partners who identify their client families that cannot afford to give presents to their children this year. Each family submits a wish list for their children and many are basic: warm jackets, new pants, simple toys and games. 
Our neighbors come together through community groups and companies to sponsor children to receive three gifts. Some people team up in a group of three and each provide one gift for a child, while others may sponsor a child or family. There’s an option for everyone and here’s how you can help: 
Sponsor a child or family. We will provide you with the recipient’s first name, age, gender, and wish list of three gifts, each with a value up to $25 ($75 or less for all three gifts for one child). You can shop, select items, and deliver gifts to our Marlborough office by December 12. 
Hold a toy drive for new, unwrapped toys. Gifts can be delivered to our Marlborough office by December 12 and we will match gifts with wish lists waiting to be filled. 
Make a donation. A financial contribution allows us to do the shopping for you and purchase gifts for children whose wish lists haven’t been filled through sponsorship or toy drives. Visit www.uwotc.org/hope
Volunteer. We need volunteers to help us sort donations and match gifts to wish lists for children.
Your help will provide Hope for the Holidays for children and families who are struggling to find magical moments this holiday season. 
Contact Barbara LaGrenade to volunteer, sponsor a child/family, or receive more information. Call 508-370-4902 or email Barbara LaGrenade