United Way brightens holidays for Routt County families

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To adopt a family for the Christmas Wishes program, call Routt County United Way at 879-5605.

— Routt County United Way is looking for volunteers to adopt about 50 families for its annual Christmas Wishes program.

"This year, we just have had a plethora of wish lists come in at the last minute," said United Way program assistant Charmaine Divens.

The holiday giving program distributes food, clothing and gifts to families throughout Routt County. Those families are identified by groups that receive funding from United Way, which specializes in health and human services agencies, said United Way executive director Mark Andersen.

Each year, the program makes the holidays brighter for 120 to 150 families. That need hasn't increased this year, Andersen said, but the flood of last-minute wish lists has left United Way looking for last-minute donors.

"There was just kind of a rush at the end," Andersen said. "We had most of the families lined up, and we probably received 50 or 60 families this week."

Wish lists typically include gift cards for groceries, winter clothes and some toys for young children, Divens said. There is no set deadline for adopting a family, but Divens said the sooner donors call United Way with their support, the better.

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