The Taber Safe Haven Women’s Shelter Society is running an Adopt-a-Family program during the month of December. 

“Adopt-a-Family’s main objective is to offer support and assistance to families or individuals residing in Taber and the MD of Taber who are experiencing hardships or could benefit from some extra joy during the holiday season,” Michelle Higginson, Executive Director of the Safe Haven Women’s Shelter Society, said. 

Recipients of the program, Higginson says, are typically nominated by a community agency or a member of the community starting in late October and the program actively runs up until Christmas Eve. 

“We are focused at low barrier programming, so Safe Haven attempts to reduce the stress of participants both sponsors and nominees throughout the program,” Higginson said. “We provide the confidential needs list to sponsors removing any identifying details and arrange wrapping and delivery of the gifts.” 

Higginson says that tax receipts and thank you cards go out to the sponsors during the month of January and then the program is closed down until the following October. 

The program, Higginson says, started out with the community of Taber wanting to support residents of the shelter during the holiday season. The parameters of the program started to evolve and now also includes members in the community in need. 

Everyone at Safe Haven participates in the implementation of the program, Higginson says, however should community members be looking for specific information they can reach out to adoptafamily@safehaven.ca. Higginson says that the Adopt-a-Family program has been running 18 years and has grown and continued due to the generous and supportive community of Taber. 

“This program is offered local to the service area, so you just need to be part of the service area and identify as requiring some assistance through the season,” Higginson said. “This program is incredibly important as it provides support through the holiday season.” 

The program, Higginson says, currently has 20 sponsors and 30 registrants with another month to go. 

“Both sponsors and nominees feel like they are able to contribute to the well-being of this community and enjoy making the season brighter for everyone,” Higginson said. 

Taber Safe Haven has a variety of ways people could become involved in the program, such as nominating, donating, shopping, and wrapping of the gifts received, Higginson says, and people can email adoptafamily@tabersafehaven.ca for more information. 

“Safe Haven strongly believes that this program has a significant positive impact on families in need, the community, and those who get involved with it,” Higginson said. “Additionally, the program encourages community involvement by creating opportunities for individuals to contribute their time, resources, and skills towards helping families in need. This not only fosters a sense of unity and compassion within the community but also allows individuals to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Overall, Safe Haven firmly believes that this program will have a positive ripple effect, bringing about positive changes in the lives of families in need, strengthening the community, and creating a sense of fulfillment and purpose for those who choose to get involved.”

By Heather Cameron, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 22, 2023 at 09:03

This item reprinted with permission from   The Taber Times   Taber, Alberta

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