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Holiday Giving Program “Wraps Up” 2016, Launches 2017

September 8, 2017

Yes, summer is barely in our rearview mirror, but the yearend holidays are just around the corner. That means it’s time to check in with Dale Hein, coordinator of the annual Holiday Giving Program at Family & Children Services.

“The Holiday Giving Program is an opportunity to support some of the most vulnerable residents of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties during the holiday season and beyond,” says Dale. “We match donors’ with specific children, families, and individuals who may otherwise have little to cherish during the holidays.”

In 2016, Dale and his elves matched 111 individual and group donors with 578 individuals in the greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek communities. Group donors included families, schools, community organizations, churches, small businesses, and big corporations. They donated gifts of clothing, toys, food, household supplies, personal care items, and more.

Among people receiving gifts were 116 foster children living in 75 area foster homes. Another 392 children and adults received blankets, gloves, and/or mittens.

Additionally, 883 individuals were served through the agency’s In-House Holiday Store that was also stocked by community donors with food, personal hygiene and household items, clothing, toys, games, and more.

“Giving to our In-House Holiday Store is a great way for donors to expand the impact of the Holiday Giving Program without being matched with a specific client family,” Dale says.

“Often, a child’s or family’s need comes to the attention of a therapist or another agency worker during the final hours before the holiday. The In-House Holiday Store allows us to respond and provide individuals with donated items.”

According to Dale, the In-House Holiday Store is also entirely stocked by donations from individuals and groups in the community.

“We have many repeat donors who say that giving to our program is one of the highlights of their holiday season,” Dale says. “New and existing donor families and organizations are already contacting us about getting involved this coming year.”

Dale gives a special shout-out to these 2016 donors:

  • Trillium Staffing Solutions employees donated more than 100 winter coats.
  • Members of St. Michael’s Church in Kalamazoo donated 350 blankets.
  • Employees in eight separate Bronson Hospital departments donated numerous gifts.
  • Greenleaf Trust for decades has purchased gifts for children in foster care.
  • 22 Family & Children Services employees donated gifts
  • Behnke Trucking once again donated a large truck and driver to deliver hundreds of gifts from our Kalamazoo headquarters to our Battle Creek headquarters.

To learn more about how you can help Family & Children Services brighten the holidays for children and families, visit www.fcsource.org, click on “WAYS TO GIVE,” and then click on “HOLIDAY GIVING PROGRAM – HELP A FAMILY.”

You may also contact Dale Hein directly at (269) 373-0248 ext. 4405, or Dale.Hein@fcsource.org

“It’s never too early to think about the holidays!” he says.