The holidays should be a time of joy, wonder and cheer for all children and their families. However, this is unfortunately not the case, with many families struggling to make ends meet, let alone afford Christmas presents. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are now even more families facing unfortunate circumstances.

That’s when the Kiwanis Club of Galt stepped in. Recognizing the need to spread holiday cheer in their community, the club contacted counselors at their local elementary schools to identify 12 very low-income families who are in great need.

Once identified, the parents/guardians of each family provided the club a wish list for each family member, adults and children alike. The wish lists included clothing sizes, desired toys, and even items like household supplies.

Once the wish lists were secured, club members “adopted” the families and purchased items on their wish lists. From shoes and microwaves to toys and laundry detergent, members wrapped and delivered the Christmas gifts to families in time for Christmas. And due to the ongoing pandemic, the club also provided Walmart gift cards, anti-bacterial hand soap and wipes, masks and other items to keep the families healthy and safe.

Club President Elizabeth Haglund said this was the club’s 25th year providing Adopt-A-Family gifts to Galt residents.

“This is a great benefit to the small community of Galt as we have a large low-income population,” Vice President Sharlyn Miller said. “These children have never received new clothes, and lack household supplies, health necessities and food in many cases.”

Miller said that a grateful mother from an adopted family with two sons texted a Kiwanis member on Christmas day, which read, “Oh my goodness! Everything is perfect! Wow. Thank you. Merry Christmas. Just … wow!”