MOUNTAIN – Christmas can be a tough time for those living in rural poverty. The House of Lazarus is seeking generous people to adopt families, couples and individuals this holiday season.

“The Adopt-A-Family program has been around for quite a few years,” noted Client Services Coordinator Kim Merkley. “It’s a great program for our food bank clients.”

Last year, the HOL adopted out over 70 families, seniors and couples. There are still approximately 30 families and 20 couples/individuals in need of adoption this year.

“The way it works is you can choose whether to provide gifts, a Christmas meal or both for the family, couple or individual,” noted Merkley. “It’s entirely up to you. There is no dollar value set for the adoption program, so it’s whatever your budget allows. Without the adoption program in place for our food bank clients, many would go without for the holidays. Roughly 40 per cent of our clients are children and without this program they likely wouldn’t have presents to open Christmas morning. Being adopted during the holidays means a lot to our clients. I feel blessed every year because I am the one that gets to see the reactions when they come in to get their baskets. Our clients are always overwhelmed by how generous people are.”

“Let me know whether you’d like to adopt a family, couple or individual, and if you do select a family, please let me know the size of family you’re looking to adopt. I’ll send you back a wish list from them, including the genders and sizes.” The deadline for returning the Christmas baskets to the HOL for the adoption program is Dec. 18, so clients have time to pick them up prior to the holidays.

The HOL also runs the Angel Tree program, for children ages 1 to 18. The Angel Tree gifts need to be back the first week of December. There are about 40 children left for that program, if people prefer providing a gift for one child.

“Every year, the need for our services continues to grow and programs like Adopt-A-Family make a huge difference in our clients’ lives.”

To adopt a family, couple or individual, contact Merkley directly by emailing, or for more information about the House of Lazarus, visit or the HOL Facebook page.