SERVE's Adopt-a-Family program provides a Christmas for children and families in Callaway County who are financially in need of assistance.
The program has been ongoing for 28 years, made possible by SERVE and numerous members of the community who decide to adopt a child.
Diana Henry, client services lead for SERVE, explained the purpose of the program.
"This program is made to help provide a Christmas for families in financial need. Every family deserves to celebrate Christmas with gifts and food," Henry said.
For the child, they will receive something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read along with hygiene products for the family, a holiday meal and a gift bag for adults with disabilities and seniors over 60.
"We are helping 280 families this year, with 572 children and 131 seniors or disabled adults, in which we are proud to be able to help this many people," Henry said.
She explained that this year, there has been an 11 percent increase in the number of applicants to the Adopt-a-Family program compared to last year.
Applications for Adopt-a-Family are open each year from mid-September to the end of October, Henry said.
"To adopt a family, go to our website to sign up to help, in which the increase of applicants, means we need more adopters," Henry said.
The sign-up process can be completed on serveinc.net.
Adopters can decide how many families they adopt, and are able to see the child's Christmas wish list. The process is completely confidential for both the families and adopters.
"We receive monetary donations from people in the community that do not adopt families," Henry said. "So the issue of not having enough people adopting families will always be resolved."
She explained that the community tremendously supports this program, and the issue of not having a family adopted is very rarely encountered.