Christmas spirit is in the air! While for many, Christmas serves as one of the happiest times of the year, for others, it can be a challenging time as they do their best to deliver a magical experience for their kids. At Star Plastics, we believe that everyone deserves to have a great Christmas. This is why, as an active member of our community, we participate in the annual Adopt-A-Family for Christmas Program in Ravenswood, W.Va.
After beginning in the 1950s, the Adopt-A-Family for Christmas Program is back for the 62nd year to continue to provide Christmas cheer through giving and sharing. The program was developed to help deliver a full Christmas to those who would otherwise be deprived in the local Ravenswood area. To participate, families in need fill out and submit applications. From there, the program’s screening committee goes through the applications, and the eligible families that are approved get “adopted” by the community.
Asking for help can be tough, which is why one of the program’s main goals is to maintain the dignity of those being helped. To do this, the Adopt-a-Family committee maintains anonymity by assigning the families a number. Then they are listed, along with their needs, as available for “adoption” in the newspaper. The local community, as groups, individuals or organizations, then sign up for a particular family and provide food for Christmas dinner, toys for children and clothing for family members.
Most would agree that the food is always a highlight of the holiday season, which is why each family receives a couple of boxes of food for Christmas dinner, including turkey or ham, all the typical sides, as well as any additional donated food items.
On Christmas Eve, volunteers, members of the Army Reserve and members of the local fire department meet at the fire station, where deliveries begin as early as 8 a.m. This year there are more than 50 families that will be adopted and receive a delivery in-time for Christmas.
Ultimately, this program is a reflection of our community, as everyone participates in their own way. From making donations to shopping for gifts, wrapping them, or delivering the donated gifts on Christmas Eve, there are several opportunities for the community to get involved.
Star Plastics is active in the community throughout the year, and this year is no different–especially with the pandemic taking its toll on the community. Our team is always looking for ways to give back and provide support.
For the last 20 years, Star has participated in the Adopt-a-Family program. Given all the challenges that this year has brought, the Star Plastics team is enjoying the opportunity to be generous and spread happiness by participating in this program.
In most years, Star Plastics will “adopt” a family or two through this program. Understanding that there are more families in need this year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we challenged ourselves to do as much as we can to help. Founder and President Doug Ritchie also saw this as an opportunity to help encourage participation with announcing a company match of the amount raised by employees.
Headed by a group of passionate employees and members of the community, Star set up an internal team to coordinate all the efforts. From collecting funds, planning the adopted families’ needs, purchasing, wrapping, and delivering to the Adopt-a-Family headquarters, this team has dedicated their time and energy to making Star’s participation and ability to give a success. One of the team’s priorities was to engage everyone in the company and provide several ways to get involved.
One of the new ways employees at Star participated this year was through a company raffle. After a Star Plastics employee encouraged the team to think of ways to do more and increase the amount to be matched by the company, the idea for the raffle was born. The internal team organized the raffle with prize drawings each week starting in October, through early December. Local businesses and organizations donated prizes for the raffle to raise funds to support the families, with prizes ranging from gift cards to a locally crafted fire pit.
Throughout the raffle proceedings, there were also opportunities to donate monetary or item contributions. While making small donations can seem insignificant, these donations as a whole allow Star Plastics to better help the local families in the Adopt-a-Family program.
With the raffle completed, the Star team coordinated adopting three families, which include 9 children and four adults. Then, they outline the family members respective gifts of clothes, toys and food items. Once the shopping for each families’ items is complete, the team will wrap up the gifts, organize and label them, and prepare them for delivery to the Ravenswood Adopt-a-Family headquarters. From there, a group of local volunteers will arrive at the headquarters early Christmas-eve morning to deliver all of the community’s gifts to the intended adopted families.
Star’s initial goal was to reach a total of $1,600, but thanks to a large amount of generosity and participation of the employees, this has been the best year of giving yet. After many weeks of raffles and multiple donations, Star employees helped to raise around $2,000. With the addition of the company match, that brings Star’s overall total for Adopt-a-Family to over $4,000!
All of this will help Star to adopt and provide gifts for three families within the community. We want to thank all Star employees who generously contributed, whether it was monetarily, with donations, or with your time and energy, for helping make Christmas in this especially-difficult year special for local families in need.