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A chance to help families at Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, and the number of families in need rising, Mahube Community Council is once again sponsoring various programs to help get the underprivileged into the holiday spirit.

The Adopt a Family program has 13 more families this year compared to last year, with a total of 45 qualified for assistance.

"There is just more people that have exhausted all their resources, still don't have jobs and they're just really struggling," said Mahube Community Council Family Development Director Marcia Otte.

Out of the 45 families, local businesses, service organizations, churches and individuals in Becker County have adopted 38 so far.

"People just really step up," Otte said.

Some businesses adopt more than one family and each is responsible for buying gifts and/or donating money to the qualified family.

The program accepts referrals of families, that are usually going through extenuating circumstances, from Mahube's Head Start service workers and housing case workers.

"We have to limit them that way, otherwise we'd be inundated," Otte said.

In addition to the Adopt a Family program, Mahube has also been organizing the "We Care" project every year for more than two decades.

We Care allows all Head Start children and their siblings to participate, giving them the opportunity to receive Christmas gifts.

This year, the community can help 532 children. Each child's name, sex, age and a Christmas wish is written on a card that's been placed on one of the Christmas trees now at various locations around the area.

The trees and names of children can be found at the State Bank of Lake Park-Audubon, Walmart, Kmart, Bremer Bank, the Lakes Area Parrot Heads, the Becker County Environmental Services and the Lakes Area Vineyard Church.

To reach even more children, just this week, Mahube received 100 handmade Christmas socks from St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes that will be filled with presents and given to those in need.

Presents will include Barbie dolls, CDs, DVDs and candies, which will be purchased using donations from area businesses. Kids in Detroit Lakes and Mahnomen will benefit from this program.

"It gets pretty busy around here," Otte said.

To adopt one of the seven remaining families, call Mahube at 218-847-1385. The deadline to purchase gifts is Friday, Dec. 17. The presents will then get picked up by the families or dropped off after the deadline.