Hundreds of schools, churches, businesses, and community volunteers participate in MEND’s annual holiday program. Each family is home-visited to assess needs and the most needy are recommended for adoption by community groups who provide household items and extra gifts. The remaining families – who meet federal poverty guidelines – come to the MEND Center on assigned days in December to select a new gift/toy for their children, receive new blankets and generous boxes of food for Christmas dinner. After the holidays, MEND’s home visitors do a follow- up need assessment to see if there are other MEND and community services that would be helpful to these adopted families. In 2016, MEND served approximately 1,300 families, helping over 4,800 individuals. Several hundred corporations, schools, churches and community groups conducted food, toy and blanket drives for the program.
Learn more about MEND’s Christmas program and how you can get involved.
Each year approximately 200 third graders get basic dental screenings, Fluoride treatments, vision exams, and backpacks with school supplies and a new pair of shoes as they get ready to go back to school.
Twice yearly, approximately 80 new mothers come to a baby shower hosted by MEND that includes a luncheon, raffle, distribution of car seats, clothing and other infant care items along with workshops on parenting, and other resource information that are designed to support MEND families with young children.
Local teenage girls get a complete formal outfit for their prom or school dance. The girls receive an outfit, get their hair and make-up done, and attend a personal development workshop.