Holiday Giving Program for families in need – by December 11

Right: Friends of Southborough Youth and Family Services are again collecting gift cards to help families in need through the holidays. (Image posted to Flickr by One Way Stock)

I’m past due on reminding readers about the Town’s Holiday Giving Program. (What a great way to commemorate Giving Tuesday!)

Every year, Southborough families generously donate to the drive, often through local community organizations.*

Gift cards and checks are collected by the Friends of Southborough Youth Commission.  The Town coordinates getting them to families in need over the winter holidays.

The program is run by the Friends of SYC and Southborough Youth and Family Services. Last year the program helped 43 Southborough families in need. This year there are 40 families signed up.

Donations in any amount are appreciated, and will be used for food, clothing and other needs for local families experiencing financial hardship. The deadline is December 11th.

Tax deductible donations can be made to Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission at 17 Common Street, or online at

In the past, SYFS made a compelling case for the families this program supports. I’ll share that again this year:

Although our town is blessed with a vibrant, successful population of educated, caring residents, we do have among us those who are barely making it through each week. Not everyone owns a home, a car, or a degree. Sometimes through no fault of their own, families find themselves in staggeringly difficult situations.

Some of our town’s children have become innocent victims in situations where accident, job loss or a difficult divorce has abruptly ripped a parent’s conscientious planning to shreds. In other instances, poor parental choices, alcohol or drugs may have been the cause of the children’s hardship. There are also occasions when a grandparent or relative with severely limited resources will intercede to do the right thing and care for a child, but children have medical needs, grow out of clothing, and incur costs that can not always be met. The stresses can be overwhelming

Each holiday season we orchestrate a Holiday giving program that quietly provides necessities and gifts for families who are in a crisis. When life is bleak, the holidays can be impossibly difficult. In the past, through the understanding compassion and generosity of townspeople, we have been able to keep heat on in some homes by distributing oil coupons. We have ensured that children would have winter jackets, snow-pants, and boots. Underwear and P.J’s were replenished and grocery coupons helped to put food in bare cabinets. We have made an effort also to provide a few special gifts that will thrill the child who opens them. Most people in need do not want to be perceived as such, and work desperately to hide, and relieve their situation. We keep identities confidential to protect and respect their dignity. Many local groups, businesses and families have supported our program for many years.

*Woodward, Neary and Finn schools are among the organizations collecting gift cards for the drive. You can drop off donations in collection boxes in the school offices by December 11.

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