POLK COUNTY -- The Community Holiday Projects, which assist local families in need during the holiday season, are under way again in Polk County.
Many local families are experiencing financial hardships, particularly during the ongoing economic downturn, and could use assistance to make the upcoming holiday season brighter.
Among the programs seeking help:
* Adopt-A-Family: This program matches families, businesses, schools, and faith community groups with a local family in need by providing a holiday food box, as well as a gift for each child in the home. The cost of "adopting" a local family is about $100.
* Tree Tags: During the month of December, giving trees will be located throughout Polk County. Selecting a tag and purchasing a gift for a local child ensures all children who apply are given a gift during the holidays.
* Christmas Cheer: Provides a food box for families in need (separate from those adopted) and delivers them on Christmas Eve. Christmas Cheer can use donations of nonperishable foods, monetary contributions, or volunteers willing to spend a few hours giving to others on Christmas Eve morning.
* Other ways to assist local families in need are through donations of cash, food, gifts, or time to area charities.
For more information: Dallas Area Community Holiday Project (serving Dallas, Falls City, Perrydale and Rickreall), 503-623-9664; Christmas Cheer, 503-623-3585; Central Area Holiday Project (Monmouth and Independence), 503-339-4955; Grand Ronde (Grand Sheramina Community Center), 503-843-3133; or West Salem (Salvation Army Christmas Clearing Bureau), 503-585-6688.
Additional information is available online at www.co.polk.or.us/si.