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Caring and sharing: Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service

Many needy families in St. Charles County would not experience the miracle of Christmas without the help of Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service – and generous members of the community.

The Care Service will adopt more than 700 fragile families this holiday season with the help of local donors. These families, living in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties, range from single individuals to families of 13.

Jennifer and Jack* have taken in two foster children. The siblings have been placed in three different foster homes in the last six months.

“The kids came to the couple with literally the clothes on their backs,” said Yvonne Tihen, Adopt A Family Coordinator. “We want to do everything we can so these children can have a Merry Christmas.”

Sarah*, a single mother of three, was in a serious car accident last month. It is unlikely that she will be home to celebrate Christmas with her family.

“We are going to make sure these kids have presents to open on Christmas morning,” Tihen said.

Many of the families adopted through the program are homeless – living in hotels or crashing on different couches every night. Tihen said many of these families are living separately in different locations – wherever shelter can be found.

“We have many homeless families that we are helping to find more permanent housing,” said Tihen.

Community members can help by adopting one of the remaining families, which range from single individuals to families of eight. Jeanne Potts, who has volunteered with the Adopt A Family program for 12 years, said the Care Service asks to families to provide three to four new gifts for each family member.

“This is the only time of the year these children get anything new,” said Potts. “These are families who do without all year long.”

Potts said the gifts adults request are items many of us take for granted – like toilet paper, towels, socks, coats and underwear.

Families are also asked to provide a Christmas dinner for families – or a gift card so the family can purchase food for the holiday. Nonperishable food is also welcome, since food pantries are generally closed from Christmas until New Year’s.

To adopt a family, contact Tihen at (636) 441-1302, ext. 224.

“Your Christmas will be blessed by helping to create a blessed Christmas for another family,” said Tihen. “It’s all about giving.”

*names have been changed

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