SASS Holiday Aid Serves Over 300 People
Saline Area Social Service is delighted to share the success of its 2023 Holiday Program, which provided celebratory meals and holiday gifts for those in need within the Saline community. SASS has a long history of providing holiday aid, dating back to the organization's founding in 1961. The 2023 Holiday Program continued this tradition, serving over 300 Saline residents in need.
The 2023 Holiday Program was made possible through the generosity of over 100 sponsors—individuals, families, businesses, churches, and organizations—and many anonymous donors that joined together to support our neighbors in need during the holiday season.
Starting in November this year, SASS staff matched families and individuals in need with local sponsors. Sponsors shopped for wish list items for their adopted family and dropped the gifts off at the SASS office in mid-December. Then, a team of volunteers worked with staff to organize and wrap the gifts in preparation for distribution to the families on December 13-14. For many of these sponsors, Adopt-a-Family is an annual tradition.
"This is my 20th year coordinating this program for our neighborhood,” said Ann Salter, Coordinator of the Lohr Lake Village subdivision. “For the most part, people donate money and gift cards and then I do most of the shopping. We’re very pleased to participate.”
Christmas at Mill Pond
On Friday, December 15th, SASS staff and volunteers visited Mill Pond Manor to deliver holiday gifts provided by Adopt-a-Family sponsors and The Quilting Season to some of our senior neighbors. After receiving her gift, one resident expressed her gratitude for the Saline community, “We can’t say thank you enough. It’s so much fun! You’re the best Santa in the world.”
Special thanks to Mary Lindquist for starting the Gifts for the Elderly program at The Quilting Season and the store’s patrons for sharing the joy of the holidays with our senior neighbors. The Quilting Season has been a wonderful partner to SASS for many years by hosting fundraisers, supporting our birthday program, arranging holiday gifts for our senior clients, and more.
December Meal Distribution
Thanks to the generosity of the community, the December Meal Distribution—a drive-through event on Sunday, December 17th—provided meal baskets, gift cards for perishable items, meat (a choice of turkey, ham, or chicken), fresh produce, bread, and sweets, ensuring that families and individuals could enjoy a festive and hearty meal during the holiday season.
Toys for Kids
SASS staff have been told countless times by current and former clients that it makes a world of difference to be able to give their children Christmas presents. During the Adopt-a-Family distribution, SASS had tables full of donated toys for families to select from for their kids. Special thanks to the Saline Area Fire Department, Saline Hockey, and Bridgewater Bank Tavern for hosting toy drives, and everyone who donated.
Volunteers played a crucial role in the 2023 Holiday Program, lending a hand during distribution events, beautifully wrapping gifts, and making deliveries to homebound community members.
"The success of the 2023 Holiday Program is a testament to the generosity and compassion of the Saline community,” said Jamail Aikens, SASS Executive Director. “Year after year, Saline comes together to make the holidays brighter for those facing challenges. We are deeply thankful for the unwavering support, which allows us to continue our mission of helping our neighbors in need."
Saline Area Social Service extends heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated, sponsored, volunteered, and contributed to the 2023 Holiday Program. The Saline community's compassion and support have made a lasting impact on the lives of our neighbors in need, helping the holiday season be a time of joy and warmth for all.
About Saline Area Social Service
Saline Area Social Service (SASS) is a private, tax-exempt non-profit organization that has been in the community for over 60 years. SASS’s mission is to provide food, emergency aid, and support to those in need in the Saline community. Learn more at SalineSocialService.com.
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