Voluntary Action Center needs 22 more sponsors for Christmas program

Monday, November 26, 2012 | 7:17 p.m. CST; updated 9:46 p.m. CST, Monday, November 26, 2012

COLUMBIA — The Voluntary Action Center still needs 22 sponsors for the annual Christmas program on the eve of the Tuesday deadline. 

The Christmas program provides gifts such as food to clothes to low-income families in the Columbia area. The program had a Nov. 20 deadline but extended it by a week to find remaining sponsors.

It is suggested that sponsors provide a holiday meal in some capacity, whether it be a gift card or actual food, and at least one gift to anyone who is under 18, elderly or mentally disabled. 

Sponsors can also donate between $50 and $75 for gifts and $15 for food. 

Once sponsors are matched with a family, they are assigned a drop-off date, Dec. 3, 4, 10 or 11. The gifts are then distributed in that two-week period. 

Last year, the program helped nearly 1,200 families, and it aims to serve nearly 1,200 families again this year. In the program's 29 years, the VAC has never had to turn a family away. 

The VAC was founded in 1969 and operates various programs that serve low-income families and disadvantaged youth in Columbia. Among the programs are Lunch in the Park, which serves meals to low-income children during the summer, and Warm Up Columbia, which is a coat drive each fall.

To donate or sponsor a family, email or call 874-2273. 

Supervising editor is Karen Miller.

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