Parker Task Force Gears up for Holiday Season 2

Volunteers and Former Recipients Spread Good Cheer

Area families in need have been able to celebrate wonderful holidays, thanks to community members and the dedicated volunteers at the Parker Task Force (PTF).

And some of those who step up to help with the PTF’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Adopt-a-Family programs are the same people who once needed help. Now that they are back on their feet, they want to help others who are not doing as well.

“I would like to return the favor and adopt a family in need this year,” wrote one former recipient of the PTF’s Christmas program. “Just knowing the joy you all brought to us, I can’t help but want to pass along the help that my family once needed.”

Both programs make a world of difference for Parker area families who are struggling to make ends meet. The assistance, food and gifts provided by the Task Force and the sponsor families remove what could have been a time of heartbreak for many families.

In a thank you note to the Task Force, the parents of three young children wrote that they were overwhelmed by their need for help.

As a recipient family in the Christmas program, the mother wrote,” The day arrived for me to pick up the items, and I was greeted with warmth and kindness from the volunteers and given generous gifts of blankets, socks, stuffed dogs and, best of all, hand-knit scarves.

“I then pulled around back. And to my surprise, an enormous tub was being brought out to my car. An entire 20-gallon tub was full of presents for my family. I was unprepared for the tears that started to fill my eyes and the relief that overcame me, as I now knew my kids would have presents to open Christmas morning.”

That is just one of the many stories that warms the hearts of the dozens of volunteers and sponsor families each year.

Thanks to these efforts, 405 members of 125 families enjoyed  a 2015 Christmas they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to have and 247 families were given complete Thanksgiving meals.

Here’s how it works:

For Thanksgiving, area residents are asked to donate money or a food basket, complete with all the Thanksgiving essentials, including turkey, pie, cranberry sauce and stuffing, for a family of four to six people.

For those who don’t want to put together a whole meal in baskets, tubs or boxes, monetary and gift card donations are also accepted.

For the Christmas program, people, businesses and organizations step up to adopt families and purchase the gifts that are included on the needy families’ wish lists. Many sponsors participate each year and some even ask to adopt large families. In 2015, for example, there was one family of seven people, eight families of six and 10 families with five members.

The gifts are typically dropped off by sponsor families before Dec. 15, so that client families can pick them up on a different day.

The details for both of these programs for 2016 were still being worked out at press time. But those wanting to make donations, volunteer or adopt a family can get more information by visiting or by calling 330.841.3460.