SYFS’ Holiday Giving Program for families in need

(Gift box from image posted to Flickr by FutUndBeidl)

The Holiday Giving Program supports families in Southborough in need of extra help during the holiday season.

Every year, Southborough families generously donate to the cause, often through local organizations.

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

The program is run by the Friends of SYC and Southborough Youth and Family Services. SYFS Director Laurie Sugarman-Whittier shared:

Last year the program helped 37 Southborough families in need, and this year the list is already longer.

Donations in any amount are appreciated, and will be used for food, clothing and other needs for local families experiencing financial hardship. 

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

[Note: If your family is facing hardship this season and you aren’t on their list, you can contact Laurie Sugarman-Whittier at 508-481-5676, ext. 1 to discuss it. Information will be kept in strictest confidence.]

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.

If you are in a family that is facing financial hardship this holiday season, please feel free to contact Laurie Sugarman-Whittier at Southborough Youth and Family Services (508 481-5676, ext. 1) to discuss becoming part of our program. Again, your information will be kept in strictest confidence.

If you are interested in donating to the program, we would love to hear from you as well. Southborough Youth and Family Services is a town organization but we could not do the good we do without your assistance. Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission enables you to make tax-deductible donations supporting our efforts. We extend deeply- felt thanks to all of you, for any help you choose to provide this holiday season to our needy families in Southborough.

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