Project Polar Express is helping hundreds of children and families celebrate the holiday season and YOU can help! Sponsor a family this holiday season and make a difference in their lives. Last year over 19,000 children and their families in 79 towns were assisted by the staff at Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, the largest private, non-profit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut. Their mission is to promote the well-being and development of all children and their families, in particular, to meet the needs of children lacking physical, emotional and intellectual care and nurturing. Programs deal with child abuse prevention, family violence, teen pregnancy, children’s health care, childcare, parent education and children’s mental health. There are myriad ways to get involved with Child and Family. A great way, this time of year, is through their holiday Polar Express Program. Client families in need provide a wish list of items for their family. Sponsors are then matched with a family and given their first names, ages and wish lists. I’ve spent several memorable (and meaningful) holiday afternoons with my daughter, choosing gifts for our “family”. It’s a wonderful way to involve your kids in very personal charitable giving. Gifts are delivered to a Child and Family local office on specific dates in December. Polar Express Program: How It Works Child & Family direct service staff recommends client families that would truly benefit from the Child & Family Agency Project Polar Express. Each client family is asked for a wish list of items that they need or could benefit from. Each individual in the family may ask for three items that are no more than $40 each. Sponsors are then matched with a family and given their first names, ages and wish lists. Sponsors then deliver the gifts to one of their offices on certain dates and the clinicians then deliver them to the families in need. How You Can Help Email or call Child & Family Agency and let them know that you or your family or group would like to help a family this year. You will be registered and matched with a family to sponsor and sent all of the information to start. Your sponsorship will include shopping, wrapping, placing names and gift tags on each gift and delivering your gift bag to the New London administrative office on the assigned delivery dates in December. Gift cards are also welcome, especially those for clothes and food! Or if you prefer making a financial contribution to the program, they have Auxiliary volunteer shoppers who will happily do the shopping and gift wrapping for families you support. The sooner you sign up, the better, especially to take advantage of Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday deals. Child and Family asks that you request a family by November 16th, and gifts are to be delivered between December 4th and 8th, 2017. Don’t have time for shopping? Donate online here. If you prefer to mail a check, make it out to “Child & Family Agency” and mail to: Project Polar Express; Child & Family Agency; 255 Hempstead Street; New London, CT 06320. You may call Brenna Closius for more info: 860-443-2896 x1406, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org Monetary donations are always appreciated as funding for sliding scale fees in counseling and afterschool and childcare do not cover all the costs associated with providing those services. If you have any questions, please call Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Director of Development at 860-443-2896 x1403 or email her at email@example.com. Find more information about Child & Family of Southeastern CT, here.