Program seeks donors to help families

It's the countdown until Christmas and CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services of Clifton Park is still looking for donors to provide Christmas gifts and winter clothing for children and families in need.

It's down to the wire with Christmas, said Kim Herman, who coordinates the CAPTAIN family assistance program. Meanwhile, CAPTAIN Executive Director Michael Daugherty, confirmed that 44 more children need to be adopted.

"We have 283 children this year, and we are down 44 donors," he said.

Daugherty, who joined CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services on Nov. 13, said that CAPTAIN's adopt-a-family program has more children this year than the agency has seen in previous years.

"The number families in need are going up and individual and company donations are down," Daugherty said.

Last year, CAPTAIN collected gifts and clothing for 240 children.

As participating donors, fourth-grade teachers and students at Karigon Elementary School are getting ready to wrap presents for a family that they have adopted through the CAPTAIN program.

"In addition to two other families from other sources, the students have adopted a family through CAPTAIN," said Rita Fischer, who teaches at the school. "We have done this for last four or five years in place of a Christmas grab bag."

Additionally, Chango Elementary School students have been donating toys, which will be provided for the children who haven't been adopted.

According to Herman, families who participate in CAPTAIN often have more critical needs. While CAPTAIN runs a food pantry, the organization provides money for rent and utilities for families in crisis.

"We received four phone calls from families who needed financial assistance this week. People call when they are about to be evicted or to say that their heat is about to be turned off," Herman said.

Daugherty said that the holidays can be tough for people who are trying to further divide their resources.

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