Source: The Boston Globe
On December 20, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that this year's list of donors to families in need is low. Maria Contreras, who runs an adopt-a-family program in Boston, asks people to sponsor families, providing blankets, clothes, kitchen appliances and the like. This year, she said her list of needy families has grown and her list of donors has shrunk. Her organization, Soldiers of Health, even sent 250 letters to churches and businesses all over Boston. The families are chosen on a case-by-case basis, and they are families that are desperately in need. Contreras puts one Ecuadorian family, whose daughter suffers from a vascular program, up in her own home. They are here so that their daughter can get treatment at the Children's Hospital, but they have three other children still in Ecuador and they are alone here. "Soldiers of Health's index of holiday want doesn't end with the relatively small adopt-a-family program. Consider that the organization catalogued 1,400 children who needed toys for the holidays. They brought 800 to the annual Christmas in the City children's event, and 63 to a Christmas party in Cambridge. For the rest, they are trying to gather toys." More requests are added to the list every day.