Rural Outreach Center seeks sponsors to adopt needy families this holiday season

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC) in East Aurora hopes to spread some holiday spirit this Christmas season by asking local individuals, families, businesses and organizations to “adopt” a deserving family and help make their holidays a little brighter.

“This Christmas season we anticipate assisting 12 to 15 families who are actively pursuing their goals toward self-sufficiency,” said ROC Executive Director Frank Cerny. “Those receiving gifts this holiday season will be asked to make a contribution of some sort back to their community as part of the empowerment process. Virtually all participants in the program readily agree to do this as they too want to help others in some way. We call it the ‘pay-it-forward’ portion of the program.”

Families taking part in the program submit lists that are generally very modest and typically include items such as clothing and small toys. Distribution will be the weekend of Dec. 17-18, so gifts must be brought to the ROC’s location at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora the week of Dec. 11. Sponsors will be given a list for a family and a special code that is to be attached to the wrapped gifts so ROC personnel can determine for whom each gift is meant.

Individuals, families or groups wishing to sponsor one or more families should contact the ROC as soon as possible at 240-2220.

In January, the ROC will launch its ROC Resolutions campaign to shine a spotlight on rural poverty in Western New York. Several well-known members of the local business and sports communities — including co-chairs Steve and Sarah Tasker — will assist in promoting areas of concern for those living in poverty, such as nutrition, utilities, transportation and clothing.

For more information on the ROC, please call 240-2220 or follow the Rural Outreach Center on Facebook at for frequent updates.

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