Love INC is looking to give a hand up to those in need this Christmas season through its 2019 Holiday Assistance Program.
Love INC Executive Director Adrianne Lucas said, through this program, they want to help parents give their child or children a Merry Christmas.
“We’re here to help families that are in any kind of need they have. Whether its ongoing or seasonal or temporary, we would love to be able to help them out during the holiday season, said Lucas. “They can make sure to take care of things like rent or mortgage, utilities and things like that. Then we can come in and take care of providing brand new toys for children for Christmas.
“If it comes down to either spending money on toys or spending money on things for the house that need to be taken care of, we’ll say ‘Hey, let us help you with the toys that way you can use your finances to make sure that your rent is paid or electricity is paid for.’”
Love INC offers its holiday assistance through three different programs that can assist a family depending on their needs. Lucas said the first of which is the Holiday Adoption program, which is where area businesses or families can adopt a child for Christmas, to gift presents to.
The second program is called Shop With a Hero, which works with area police officers, firefighters and veterans, and a local Walmart.
“What we do is pair a child with a hero, and we meet at that Walmart, and children are able to go shopping for Christmas gifts with a hero,” Lucas said. “That’s really sweet to see, because it forces a real costive relationship with our law enforcement and fire service.
“The third program that we have is the Toys for Tots Toy Store. For that event, we will have a large toy store, with thousands of toys that have been donated. What we do is, we invite parents to come shop for the child at our toy store.”
Holiday assistance applicants must be residents of Stone or Taney county. The application must be completed by a custodial parent or legal guardian. Applicants must be able to provide a social security card or birth certificate for the child, who must be age 18 or under to qualify.
“The application process does have a small portion that has a financial assessment. So whether they apply over the phone or online, they will have to provide some financial information,” said Lucas. “To be honest though, we will take them at their word. We do not require any specific W2 or anything like that.”
Applicants can apply over the phone by calling the office at 417-336-7056, but Lucas said due to the amount of calls the office receives during this season, she recommends filling out the online application at omcloveinc.org.
“Between all three programs, we hope to serve about 1,500 local children this holiday season and be able to give them the opportunity to open a brand new toy for Christmas,” said Lucas. “Not only is Love INC working hard to be able to provide this for the community, but it really is through partnerships and support of dozens of local churches, along with a very generous community that we partner with, to be able to offer all three of these programs.”
The deadline to register for the 2019 Love INC Holiday Assistance Program is Nov. 18.
Any businesses or individuals interested in doing the holiday adoption program or making a donation is encouraged to call the office. at 417-336-7056.