Lacey Residents can now “adopt a family” that was affected by Hurricane Sandy for the holiday season.
A Christmas tree stands inside the Forked River Presbyterian Church with paper bells hanging on the limbs as ornaments. The bells read “Family #7,” “Family #12,” and “Family #14”—all of which have been displaced by the superstorm.
Katie Spera of Lacey Township is overseeing the project and developed the idea after volunteering on one of the Lacey United Methodist Church’s clean-up teams.
“It’s more of a community effort,” she said.
Churches throughout town have banned together, assisting displaced families, and referring them to Spera, she said. Each family is then contacted and asked what their needs are.
The families receive a number, which is depicted on one side of the bell, while their “wish list” of necessary items such as clothing is listed on the backside of the bell.
The program is confidential and names of the families in need are not revealed, Spera said.
Out of 14 families, as of Wednesday night, three remained on the tree.
Spera is currently seeking out more families to add to the tree, she said.
Families affected by the hurricane can stop by the church and sign up or call Spera at 732-552-8350.
Those who would like to adopt a family can also stop by the church during the above timeframes to pick a family off the tree.
Spera will be at the Presbyterian Church every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. as well as Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through Friday, Dec. 21.
Those dropping off gifts for their adoptive families are asked to go to the church on Monday, Dec. 17, Wednesday, Dec. 19 and Friday, Dec. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m.
The rules for those adopting a family:
- Only new items
- Presents can be wrapped or unwrapped, if wrapped please make a list of the items bought
- Drop off presents between Sunday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Dec. 21
- Please try to keep equal number of presents for each child.
Spera is also asking for donations of wrapping paper, scotch tape and Christmas tree nametags.
The Forked River Presbyterian Church is located at 131 North Main Street in Forked River.