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Liberty House promotes Christmas 'adoption' of victims of abuse

The Adopt a Family Program helps victims of abuse in the Albany area during the holidays

ALBANY — Liberty House, which serves victimized women and children, is asking for those who are in the holiday spirit to share it with their clients who are struggling by “adopting” a family for Christmas.

This is the ninth year that Liberty House has promoted its Adopt a Family Program for the Christmas season. Officials with the organization, which has seen its resources stretched this year, say that about 50 families in 2012 had brighter holidays because of the generosity of contributors to the program.

“The purpose of our Adopt a Family program is to give the families the gift of giving during the holidays,” Christy Carter, who is in her first year of heading up the program for Liberty House, said Tuesday. “It’s not to meet basic needs (of clients).

“It’s so when they wake up Christmas morning, they’ll have gifts for their families.”

Liberty House officials say the organization has sheltered 62 women and 72 children so far this year, with the current census standing at 11 women and 13 children. Liberty House serves Dougherty and 12 other counties, and is providing outreach services to 487 victims of violence.

And with two of the women at the shelter about the give birth, the number of children at the shelter is about to increase to 15.

Carter said that the program matches a sponsor with a family. The center gives the sponsor information on clothing sizes and the age and sex of the children in the family, with a goal of three to five gifts for each child.

“It’s for the community to pass along the gift of giving,” she said, adding that some families served by the program are at the shelter while others are in the outreach program. “Every year, we choose different families” to participate, she said.

Once a sponsor adopts a family and makes the purchases, they are turned in to Liberty House officials, who will take them to the family being sponsored. “It’s all anonymous,” Carter said. “We protect the families’ identities.”

Liberty House officials don’t have a goal for a number of families to reach. With many of the women heading up the families in financial constraints that make buying Christmas presents difficult to impossible, organizers want to help as many as possible, Carter said.

“We’d love to have as many as we had last year, 50 or more,” she said. “If we’ve got people who are willing to adopt, we’ve got the families.

“It really depends on the level of community support.”

Those who can’t afford to adopt a family can still participate by making a monetary donation, Liberty House officials said, adding that no contributions are too small. Contributions also are tax deductible.

For information on the Adopt a Family Program, contact Carter at (229) 439-7094 or write Liberty House, P.O. Box 2046, Albany, Ga. 31702.