Tempe-based group helping to spread the holiday cheer to those in need

TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- 'Tis the season of giving, and the Tempe Community Action Agency is hoping more folks spread holiday cheer by adopting a family in need.

It is not like a formal adoption, So if you adopt a family, you would be donating the items on their bucket list of what they want for Christmas. 

For many years, the TCAA has launched different holiday programs, and for this holiday season, they launched the "Giving Tree".

"We've done an intake process with our families. We asked them what would make them happy this holiday season, what could we provide for them that would bring them some joy," said TCAA's Director of Operations, Julie Armstrong-Starkey.

People can adopt a family in need. or a senior volunteer.

"Maybe some Ninja Turtles or queen sets of sheets, so then, we've asked people to adopt them or purchase those gifts for them, and that's the adoption process," said Armstrong-Starkey.

Cindy Flores is still trying to make ends meet as a single mom.

"They're my motivation," said Flores. "They're the reason why I haven't given up on anything. I just want better for myself for them."

Flores recently found a job through TCAA, which also helps her juggle three children and two jobs.

"They always have resources for, like, Head Start for the kids when I'm at work," said Flores.

What she wants from the Giving Tree are gifts for her three kids.

The Giving Tree is also about showing appreciation for the volunteers. Volunteers like Marliyn Ritze, who said she has worked at the receptionist's desk at TCAA for over a year.

"It just makes me feel good that people appreciate my time that I spend to help them," said Ritze, whose Christmas wish is simple but sweet, literally.

"I love Butterfinger candy bars," said Ritze. "I ask for that and a couple of gift cards to be able to go out to eat, sometimes. That's about it."

So far, 160 people have signed up to volunteer for the Giving Tree, and if you would like to adopt someone and make their Christmas wish come true. The deadline to apply is on Monday, December 10.

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