With help from the community, Sieda Wapello County Resource Center holds two Christmas Programs every year. First, the Wapello County Children’s Christmas. A program partnered with the Ottumwa Fire Department Sparky Claus. Second, the senior program Silver Bells.
In 2018, in Wapello County, nearly 10,000 people lived below the 150% poverty level . Our programs, such as LIHEAP (heating assistance) and the Christmas programs, can help those at 175% and below. Of those living below the 150% level, around 2,000 are under 18 years old, and over 900 are over 60 years old. As a united community, we were able to help the young and seniors have something to look forward to during Christmas.
Wapello County Children’s Christmas Program
Firstly, the Children’s Christmas Program provided for 241 households with a total of 628 children. Nearly 100 more children than last year. Families apply and are adopted through Sparky Claus, run by the Ottumwa Fire Department. Adoption trees are placed around the community for groups or individuals to select a tag or leave a toy in a donation box.
We thank everyone who adopted and donated. John Deere donated to our children and elderly Christmas programs. Not to mention, Pella Corporation generously adopted many children and families from both Wapello and Mahaska. Families picked up their children’s gifts from Sieda if they were adopted. Our rooms were full of prewrapped gifts and bagged gifts.
However, for children not adopted, a family member comes to the Sieda Resource Center. This year the distribution was a drive up; due to COVID-19. Items that were donated individually by the community were given to children not adopted. Such donations were toys, clothing, games, sports equipment, toiletries, and more. All shopping day items are donations through Sparky Claus.
Thank you to everyone that makes this program a huge success. We appreciate the Ottumwa Fire Department’s Sparky Claus and many in the community donating and adopting. We could not reach as many alone. Your efforts helped make a happy holiday for the low-income families in Wapello!
Silver Bells Program
Secondly, the 2020 Silver Bells program had a total of 290 homes with 333 seniors. In brief, all households received an orange bag of food for a Christmas meal from Sieda and donors. Also, Grace Church gave a brown bag to every senior with mittens, socks, and a blanket. Read more about this program; Sieda 2020 Silver Bells Program.