By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Every year for more than a decade, Saving Grace has held a holiday Adopt-a-Family event, relying on the community to help the nonprofit
“It’s super fun, it’s really rewarding,” said Sarah Merkley, who’s participated in the event the last two years.
And every year, the community comes through in spades.
“The community gets to adopt one or more families and shop for their best needs and wants for the holiday season,” said Ryan Stillwater of Saving Grace, a Bend agency that provides comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault services.
Friday, more than a dozen participants dropped off gifts for their respective adopted families. Stuffed animals, bicycles, gift cards – things to help make the season a little brighter.
“It’s a great way to do your part and get involved, so it feels really good,” Merkley said.
This year, people like Sarah are helping provide materials to more than 50 families across Central Oregon.
For these families, it’s about more than gifts.
“A number of our families they potentially leave a dangerous or unsafe situation at a moment’s notice and so leaving home, leaving everything you know, all of your possessions and a lot of the things that are important to them,” Stillwater said. “The holidays roll around and they don’t have a lot to bring, the general comfort and stability and some of the normal aspects of their life, so Adopt-A-Family brings that back to them.”
If you missed out on the Adopt-A-Family and would still like to contribute to Saving Grace, you can do so on their website, saving-grace.org.