With need high during pandemic, Mission seeks donations for families this holiday season — here’s how to help

The city of Mission's Holiday Adoption Program looks a little different with COVID-19, but the city is still asking for donations to send food and gifts to families this Christmas. File photo.

Although the challenges brought on by COVID-19 still loom overhead, there are still ways to give back this holiday season, including the city of Mission’s 15th annual Holiday Adoption Program.

Several community partners — including Hy-Vee, Rock Creek Brewing Co. and Sandhills Brewing  — are already involved in the effort to send food to 82 families for Thanksgiving, with plans to provide more meals and gifts for Christmas.

Kathy Lockard, the administrative supervisor at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center, said the program is more important than in years past with the pandemic causing more people economic hardship.

“This year, spreading a little cheer and a nice meal will be more important than ever,” Lockard said. “We’re so glad that with just a few changes, we’re able to maintain safety and still provide this service for our community.”

Changes to the program, due to COVID-19, include fewer volunteers and not allowing anyone into the community center for pick ups. Additionally, the city prefers donations for the program be dropped off already wrapped and is asking for more gift cards this year to cut down on volunteers’ gift-wrapping time.

Last year, the program was able to provide 104 Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas gifts and food for 107 families through more than 100 separate donors.

Below are the different ways to get involved in Mission’s Holiday Adoption Program this year, as outlined by the city:

  • Contribute financially: cash donations are accepted, but a gift can also be made payable to the City of Mission Charitable Fund and sent to the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center at 6200 Martway Street.
  • Stop by the community center and pull a tag from the gift tree. Wrapped gifts should be returned to the community center by Dec. 16.
  • Volunteer to help wrap gifts or assemble food baskets. To do so, contact Kathy Lockard at (913) 722-8206 or via email at klockard@missionks.org.
  • Groups such as businesses, families or neighborhood groups can adopt an entire family. Contact Lockard via the above avenues for more information.
  • Challenge friends or family to participate in the “$20 in 2020” campaign. Simply send $20 to support the program and challenge loved ones to do the same.