Mission staff and volunteers are gearing up for their annual holiday adoption program, which kicks off next week.
Each year, a group of Mission residents, elected officials and city staff come together to provide a happy holiday season for area families in need. Mission finds and adopts families who are referred by local schools and who could use help providing a holiday meal or gifts.
Last year, Mission had enough donations and volunteers to provide meals and/or Christmas gifts to 86 area families.
Emily Randel, assistant to the city administrator, said people can help in a variety of ways. Cash or check donations made out to the City of Mission are accepted at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center and can be mailed or dropped off at the center, located at 6200 Martway St., Mission, KS 66202.
Nonperishable food items are also accepted at the community center, or in boxes at participating local businesses. Gift tags will be on display at the community center beginning today, Nov. 12. Anyone interested in purchasing gifts may choose tags requesting specific items, then return the gifts to the community center.
Randel said volunteers are also needed at the community center, at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 for preparing food baskets and at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 for preparing food baskets and wrapping gifts.
Mission leaders are also partnering with Roeland Park to reach more families who may be struggling with finances. Former Mission councilmember Suzie Gibbs, who established the holiday adoption program, visited the Roeland Park council several weeks ago to discuss the details of the 2018 program.