This will be the 62nd year for the Adopt-A-Family for Christmas Program in Ravenswood.

The wheels have begun to turn once again for this annual effort that embodies the best of what the yuletide season is about – sharing, caring, and giving.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything will be different this year. The program will not be accepting used clothing, used furniture, nor used toys. CDC regulations of masks being worn along with social distancing and the use of hand sanitizer will be followed. As everyone has learned with this pandemic, everything is subject to change in a moment’s notice.

The program attempts to provide a full Christmas to those in the area who otherwise would be deprived. Adopting groups and organizations provide food for Christmas dinner, toys for children, and clothing for family members. Those adopting a family do not know who they are helping and do not actually deliver their presents to the needy family.

A screening committee reviews the needs of area families. If approved by the committee, the family’s needs are publicized so that the family may be “adopted” by a church group, social organization, local business, plant workers, or others.

The local ministerial association and The Ravenswood News (now The Jackson Star News) have sponsored the program since its inception in the 1950s. One of the prime goals of Adopt-A-Family has been to maintain the dignity of the people being helped while providing a Merry Christmas for members of the adopted family.

Sally Carter will again be serving as project coordinator.

The Policy Committee met Monday evening to establish the rules for the 2020 distribution.

Deliveries will be coordinated by Jason Baltic and will be made on Christmas Eve beginning at 8 a.m. The deliveries are made by the members of the local fire departments, Army Reserve units, and by many local volunteers.

The kitchen area of the Ravenswood Volunteer Fire Department will serve as the headquarters.

Applications for the Ravenswood Adopt-A-Family are now available at The Jackson Star News office located at 410 Race Street. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the front office is not open to the public; however, the applications are accessible in the foyer at any time.

Applications may be mailed back or deposited in the mail slot in the front door of the office.

All questions on the application form must be answered to be considered for adoption.

Applications will only be accepted from Oct. 21 through Nov. 30.