Vicki Bullock said The Redeem Project's Christmas program is aptly named Hope for Christmas.
"Hope is what we're giving," said Bullock, executive director of the agency. "It's not just toys and clothes. It gives them hope that someone cares."
The Redeem Project is a faith-based nonprofit that offers information for community resources and collaborates with local churches, agencies, organizations and businesses to serve project participants. The agency also offers skills workshops, educational programs, tutoring and support groups free of charge.
This year is Hope for Christmas' fourth year, and the program allows families, community members and groups to adopt families for Christmas.
"Families are qualified for this program based on referrals when they don't meet the qualifications of other organizations," Bullock said. "Most have had a traumatic experience this past year."
She said she has seen needs for the program grow because of the economy.
"We've seen a lot of people hit hard because they don't have insurance," Bullock said. "We've had more this year left devastated because they had to finance a funeral."
She said Hope for Christmas is servicing 25 Missouri counties this year, up four counties from last year. Last year, 601 families were adopted, and Bullock said she expects 700-750 families to be adopted this Christmas.
She said Hope for Christmas families available for adoption are posted on The Redeem Project's website, www.theredeemproject.org, and on its Facebook page.
Individuals or families who would like to adopt a family should email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 635-2083 or stop by the Redeem Project's office at 1436 Hough St.
Bullock said once she matches an individual or family with a family to adopt, they will be given the adopted family's wish list so that they may shop for them. Items are due to The Redeem Project by Dec. 15.
The Redeem Project is also accepting monetary donations for Hope for Christmas. An anonymous donor is matching all donations and if that money is spent at two local retailers, those retailers are matching the money spent.
"So, $100 becomes $400," Bullock said.