A Holt-based program that provides gifts to families in need is relying on Amazon for its Christmas shopping this year.
Give-A-Kid Projects is using Amazon wish lists to allow donors to virtually shop for presents during the pandemic.
Kris Hummel, the president of Give-A-Kid Projects, said volunteers previously could adopt a family by picking up a star with a wish list and information about the family written on it. After buying items off the wish list, presents would be dropped off at the Give-A-Kid building, where staff would distribute them to families. Now, virtual stars through an Amazon wish list will be available for those who want to adopt a family this year.
“People know that they can come to us if they are in need of any kind,” Hummel said. “They know that we’re going to help them out because we are an intricate part since 1984 in the Holt community.”
Hummel said the Give-A-Kid-A-Christmas project has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 because donations from businesses have declined and the organization wasn’t able to do any fundraising this year.
“We’re having a shortage of at least $120,000 for Christmas this year,” Hummel said.
Hummel said every child costs about $150 for Christmas and the organization is projecting to help between 900 and 1,000 children this year with only $30,000 to spend.
“It’s just been awful this year,” Hummel said. “We have been shaking our heads and worrying so much to just make sure that we can get funding and everyone covered that needs to be covered, that’s our goal. If there’s a need, we want to be there to help.”
Organization board Secretary Sandra Wrigglesworth said the organization is asking children questions such as their favorite color, character and sports team to provide guidance for gifts.
“It’s just heartwarming to know that we’ve changed the lives of many who just don’t have everything they need,” Wrigglesworth said.
Hummel said the Give-A-Kid Projects helps anyone who lives in Holt or attends Holt schools, especially teenagers.
“They’re the ones that drop out of school, they’re the ones that can do the most delinquent damage and we just want them to know that we also care about them,” Hummel said.
Former Holt resident Beverly Brown said the Give-A-Kid Projects has helped her take care of her three grandchildren and the Christmas project has helped ease the worry of providing food and presents during the holidays.
“We’ve had deaths in our family, I got custody of all three of my grandchildren, and those people have been extremely understanding. They’ve gone above and beyond,” Brown said. “They’ve taken that extra time to listen to our situation which they didn’t have to do. I appreciate it, it felt like someone personal was listening and they’ve always treated us with respect.”
Brown said the organization has renewed her sense of purpose.
“The best part I think is you don’t feel like you’re treated any less of a person because you ask for help at holidays,” Brown said.
Wrigglesworth said people can help out this Christmas by donating money or going to the Amazon wish list to get a virtual star and shop online.
“Everybody’s very helpful and grateful that we’re continuing to do what we do, and honestly we have a wonderful community of people that help,” Wrigglesworth said.