Giving During Thanksgiving: Sponsor a Family for the Holidays

What would Thanksgiving be without the requisite turkey and fixings? One department in the V.I. doesn’t think anyone should have to find that out.

In the true spirit of the season, the V.I. Department of Human Services, Division of Children, Youth and Families, is asking residents to share their wealth by sponsoring families for Thanksgiving.

The division helps more than 250 families throughout the Virgin Islands, and donations are always needed, explained Kim Gomez, Administrator for the Division of Children, Youth and Families.

“We want to support some of our families who need a little something extra during the holidays,” said Gomez. “People are always thankful during this time of year and it’s a great opportunity to share what you have with others who don’t have as much.”

Opportunity To Share
Residents are asked to provide anything they can, from home-cooked meals to canned goods, Gomez explained.
“Anything anyone can do would be appreciated,” she said. “A home-cooked meal or a portion of a meal, such as a turkey, would be great. People are welcome to give whatever they can — canned goods, gift certificates or monetary donations are welcome too.”

Gomez is expecting a large outpouring of donations, which she said occurs every year.
“People have a lot to give,” said Gomez. “They are very generous during this time and feel more spirited which is always nice.”

In addition to Thanksgiving donations, Gomez is looking forward to the spirit of giving during the Christmas season as well.

Big Christmas Parties
“For Christmas we raise money and do gift giving for foster families and protective care clients,” Gomez said. “We do a big Christmas party for our kids and we usually raise between $5,000 and $6,000. The community always comes though for us.”

The cruise lines and the government help out every year as well, Gomez added.
“Usually the people who give, give every year,” she said. “We’ve had sponsorship by the cruise lines. They come in every year and have a big party.”

“We actually have a variety of sponsors and a big party at Government House,” Gomez added.

What Comes Around Goes Around
While donating helps the person in need, the donor gets something out of it as well, Gomez explained.

“For me, when you give you also get something out of it,” she said. “What comes around goes around. It’s a really good thing.”

To sponsor a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, contact Elisa Niles at the Department of Human Services by calling 774-4393.