RENO, NV - Each year, The Children’s Cabinet collects the names of families in need—and then, other families, companies, or charity groups adopt those families and fulfill a wish list. This year the Children’s Cabinet helped 190 families—nearly 40 more than average. Thankfully they had some extra hands to help with gifts, canned food, and toys.
"Elves to the front desk, Elves to the front desk," goes over the intercom system at the Children’s Cabinet.
And just like that, nine college students from Western Oregon University jump into action--loading cars, packing bags, or examining gifts for the Children's Cabinet Adopt a Family Program.
The nine women in purple shirts from Western Oregon are taking a portion of their Christmas break to volunteer for a worthy cause.
Its all part of the school's Alternative Break Program.
“Throughout the summer I came up with a lot of fund raisers and I Googled a lot of places for housing. And I called up sites and said, we are a volunteer group, my team is 9. We are coming down there for 1 week. Would you like us to volunteer at your site,” says the group’s leader, Luanne Carillo.
Carillo says her group has been planning this trip for a couple of months.
Here at the Children's Cabinet, they've helped before and during the adoptive family’s visit.
This is the first time for the group and the Children's Cabinet to work together, but the grants manager says it couldn't have happened at a better time.
“They came in, set their bags down and went to work. It was great.“ says Jeanne Byassee, the Children’s Cabinet Grants Manager.
Byassee says not only has the demand gone up with year for the adopt-a-family program, but what’s being asked for has become even more basic.
No bikes, CD players, instead, canned food or snacks for kids as they are home from school during the Christmas break.