UPDATE: Voluntary Action Center still needs sponsors for 65 families in Christmas program

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | 2:21 p.m. CST; updated 5:01 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This story has been updated to include the most recent number of families still needing sponsors for the Christmas program and to reflect that the Voluntary Action Center has extended the deadline.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Voluntary Action Center still needs sponsors for about 65 families for its Christmas Program.

The Christmas program matches sponsors to families in need during the Christmas season. Sponsors are asked to donate food or money for a Christmas meal and at least a single gift for every person in the family who is younger than 18, elderly or has a disability. This year, the Voluntary Action Center registered 1,150 families for the program. 

The center has extended its deadline until Tuesday, director Ron Schmidt said. He said extending the deadline would put a strain on the center's staff as it prepares for drop-off dates early next month. Still, he feels an extension is necessary. 

"It will be very inefficient for us, but it's something we're willing to do," Schmidt said.

While the center will be closed for the entirety of the Thanksgiving weekend and on Monday, Schmidt said those interested in sponsoring a family can leave a message at 874-2273 or

"Hopefully people after Thanksgiving will begin to think about Christmas and then think about our program and get signed up," Schmidt said.

Those interested in sponsoring can also go to the center's website for additional details.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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