If you have ever witnessed the magic that is the Secret Santa program at the Branford Counseling Center, you would understand why its so important to make sure every needy family in town is matched with a donating family to continue to make this gift-giving event one of the best of its kind in the area.
This year more than 130 families have been matched but there’s still more than 25 parties waiting for gifts, explained Sharon Patterson, Secret Santa Program Coordinator with the Counseling Center. “We are working hard to be sure that those in need of assistance are helped,” said Patterson.
Year after year, the needs of Branford residents continue to rise and last year alone, 225 families were matched; more than 500 individuals received holiday gifts thanks to this special program.
Patterson said the center expects the same number of individuals to request gifts as last year and they hope through the generous donations of residents, they can continue to fill the needs of the community.
The Secret Santa program matches needy families to donors who “adopt” the family’s children and purchase items from their gift wish lists. While families with young children are often the first to be selected, Patterson said there is still a need for residents to buy for children age 12 and older as well as adults.
To adopt a family or to be considered to receive donations, call the Branford Counseling Center @ 203-481-4248 or email Sharon Patterson @firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to matching families for the Secret Santa program, residents can donate unwrapped individual gifts; the center volunteers allow residents to “shop” for those gifts for their families and they also use those donations to help complete family wish lists.
This weekend, residents can donate unwrapped gifts at the first annual FPGG Scavenger Hunt on the Branford Green, Saturday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. and at the Branford High School basketball game, Wedneday Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. (donation made through BHS senior Andrew Klarman). This past weekend, the 2nd Annual Christmas Caddy collected gifts for the center as well.
Drop off gifts until Dec. 19
Branford Counseling Center
342 Harbor Street
Branford, CT 06405
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (access front door)
Saturday (Dec. 15): 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (access rear door)