Adopt-A-Family program gives families a memorable holiday

 Volunteer Michael King loads packages for Christen Vickers as part of the agency's Adopt-A-Family program.

Volunteer Michael King loads packages for Christen Vickers as part of the agency's Adopt-A-Family program.

Christen Vickers appeared stunned when she looked in the back seat of her car and then toward the two vans parked behind her vehicle, all loaded with gifts for her family.

The 27-year-old Pontiac woman, who is pregnant with a baby boy, and her fiancé fell into financial hard times after his niece and nephew came to live with them and Vickers’ three children. Her fiancé also has two children who live out of state.

“We took in his niece and nephew after their dad abandoned them, and the mom went to prison,” she explained. “That adds to our bills, and we don’t make a lot of money. I had to stop working because I am considered a high-risk pregnancy.”

With a total of seven children and a baby on the way, Vickers knew she and her fiancé couldn’t afford to buy the children gifts for the holidays and contacted Oakland Family Services, where her daughter attended preschool last year. The agency worked with an area neighborhood group, which purchased a new crib with mattress, car seat, and items that filled 11 boxes and seven garbage bags.

“I’m so grateful,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting all of this. I thought we would get a few things. This is so unreal.”

Thanks to the those who supported the agency's Adopt-A-Family program, Vickers’ 7-year-old daughter, 6-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter and her fiancé’s 13-year-old nephew, 8-year-old niece and two children will have a memorable holiday.

Oakland Family Services’ Adopt-A-Family program provided gifts to 222 families this holiday season.