Voluntary Action Center's largest program celebrates its 30th year

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | 5:16 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — About 100 families are still in need of sponsors for the Voluntary Action Center's annual Christmas Program.

The deadline to sponsor a family is Friday.

This Christmas, the VAC will sponsor about 1,200 families, a number that has been increasing steadily since the program started 30 years ago, said Leslie Pitchford, who coordinates the Christmas Program. It is the largest program the VAC conducts each year.

Boone County families who meet the program's eligibility requirements registered in September and October to be adopted by a family during the holiday season. Upon their acceptance, the families met with VAC coordinators to make a holiday wish list.

In November, these families started to be matched up with sponsors who will provide them with food and gifts for their Christmas celebrations based off their wish lists, interests and hobbies.

Pitchford said the program is accepting monetary donations that will be given to families without sponsors. The VAC recommends $15 for food donations and between $50 and $75 for gift donations.

"The need is out there," Pitchford said.

Sponsors will begin dropping off gifts this week at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1600 W. Rollins Road. Drop-off dates are Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17.

For more information, contact the VAC at 874-2273 or visit the VAC website,

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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