For many people, Christmas Eve is a night of feasting and fun. But for some unfortunate families in Dodge City, money for presents and food is not so easy to come by. Thankfully, there are many programs in Dodge City that seek out families in need, to share with them a little Christmas cheer. One such local program is the Dodgeboard.com Adopt-a-Family Program. The organizer, Tim Trent and his sister-in-law, Terri Trent are the directors of the program they helped to start eight years ago.
"It just seems to get bigger and bigger each year" Trent says. "It started out the first year with only about 15 families and has grown each year from there. It's easy to tell that the economy has made it tough for so many in our own community, as many of those we delivered to told us they were recently out of work. One of the families had a very sick child and another family was spending Christmas in the hospital with their father, who was also very sick."
The Dodgeboard.com adopt-a-Family Program works in conjunction with other local agencies; United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ford County, the Crisis Center and the local schools who assist by providing nominations for the program. Then, the members of the Dodgeboard.com website raise the bulk of the money to fund the project, and with the help of Kent Smoll, of Smoll & Banning and Alan Stukenholtz of Starr Computer, who donate much of the funds to cover the project, the meals are purchased at our local Dillons store, precooked and ready to warm and serve.
"We are very fortunate for our local Dillon's store, who provides us the meals at discounted prices and helps us to get everything ready. Clint, the manager at our local store helped us immensely this year to coordinate and prepare the meals. Without their help, we simply would not be able to do this" says Trent.
For the second year in a row, we also passed out some gift cards where we saw special needs. We would talk to many of the families to try and find out if they were able to provide gifts for their children this year. This year, we gave out $500 in Walmart gift cards to help many of the parents provide gifts for the little ones.
"It is so great to be part of such a generous community that truly cares about the less fortunate among us" says Trent.