MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The East Cooper Community Outreach launched its annual Adopt-A-Family project that works to give children of less fortunate families gifts for the holiday season.
People, businesses and church groups are able to adopt families in need and help them enjoy the holidays by purchasing presents for the children.
"We help as many of the families we can, thanks to support from our donors," project coordinator Stacy Passailaigue says. "It is a great program because people love to give joy, and gain the satisfaction of knowing they have helped a worthy child in a disadvantaged situation."
ECCO has a team of case managers who have already pre-selected the families and worked with them to generate wish lists that include basic needs -- socks, shoes, coats and school supplies -- to things they would not otherwise be able to afford, including books, toys, and games.
"One donor hosts a Christmas shopping party each year and invites her friends. When they get together they are divided into teams and are given family descriptions that have been taken from our website. Then they go shopping for a set period of time and return to show everyone what they bought," Passailaigue said. "Even though they don't know the children, these ladies take a personal interest in the children assigned. The pride they express is like they were buying for their own child or grandchild!"
Families can be selected by visiting the ECCO website. Gift collection begins Dec. 7 and continues through Dec. 19.
Drop-offs can be made at the Market at Oakland in Mount Pleasant.
Last year, ECCO helped 135 East Cooper families. Sixty-five families have already been adopted this year.