With help from the community, Sieda Wapello County Center holds two Christmas Programs every year. First, the Wapello County Children’s Christmas. A program partnered with the Ottumwa Fire Department Sparky Claus. The second is a senior program, Silver Bells.
In 2019, in Wapello County, over 13,400 people lived below the 200% poverty level . Our programs, such as LIHEAP (heating assistance) and the Christmas programs, can help those at 200% and below. Of those living below the 200% level, approximately 3,000 are under 18 years old, and around 1600 are over 60 years old. As a united community, we can help the young and seniors have something for Christmas.
Wapello County Children’s Christmas Program
Firstly, the program provided for 225 households with 582 children. 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 staff generously adopted 266 children from Sieda’s Wapello and Mahaska Children’s Christmases. Gifts steadily poured in from individuals, groups, and the Fire Department. Families adopted were called to pick up their children’s presents from Sieda. It was a blessing to see our rooms full of prewrapped and bagged gifts.
However, if not adopted, a family member comes to the Sieda Center for a no-cost shopping day. Items donated individually by the community were given to children not adopted. All shopping day items are donations through Sparky Claus. It was excellent that the Ottumwa Public Library came and provided families that shopped a chance to select a book for their children.
Thank you to everyone that makes this program a huge success. We appreciate the Ottumwa Fire Departments Sparky Claus, Pella Corp, and many in the community donating and adopting. Sieda programs in Wapello County in 2020 reached over 2,100 young people under the age of 18 . Our Special programs, such as our Christmas Programs, do not have specific funding. We could not reach as many without the community. Your efforts helped make a happy holiday for the low-income families in Wapello!
Silver Bells Program
Secondly, the 2021 Silver Bells program had 295 homes with 360 seniors. In brief, all households received a food bag for a Christmas meal from Sieda and donors. Also, Grace Church gave every senior multiple gift items. Read more about this program; 2021 Wapello County Silver Bell Program.