The Oswegoland Optimist Club is once more putting together their “Needy Family Christmas Project.”
Tina Conley, secretary for the Optimist Club, the club works with School District 308 to find families in need that they then set up with sponsors to put together gifts and clothing for the children and a Christmas dinner for the family.
“We have quite a few businesses and individuals in the community that have participated in this for many years,” said Conley. “People really look forward to it.”
The Optimist club, as of Wednedsay evening, had found sponsors for all of the families, which totaled over 80. They are still looking for donations to help in purchasing items for Christmas dinners.
For those that do not wish to donate cash, Conley said the club will be accepting giftcards to Woodman's, where they will purchase groceries for the families.
Each school in District 308 also has a hit and mitten tree set up for winter wear donations that will be distributed as needed.
On Dec. 21 Conley said volunteers gather at the Oswego YMCA to sort the gifts and food and then deliver them to all of the families. Volunteers are always welcome and those interested can fill out this form to be submitted to the Oswegoland Optimist Club.
Volunteers are needed to sort as well as drive the packages to each house.
For the second year the Optimist Club is also working with ‘Toys for Tots’ to collect toys for the children.
“The amount of families have increased dramatically since we started,” said Conley. She said it used to be around 10 kids they would help. Last year was 300 and this year is even more.
She said many of those that come to help on Dec. 21 bring their kids with them. “It really shows them what it means to give and to give back,” she said.
For more information, visit the Oswegoland Optimist Club Facebook page for updates and more ways to help.
The club has been providing this service to the youth of Oswego for over 25 years, but in the last 5 years, they have helped over 475 families and over 1300 kids.