Adopt-a-Family Program is a West Point tradition

Ruby Jackson, Latrice Freeman, Shannon Jones, Tim O'Brien, Shelia Vance, Jane Scott, Rachel Pate, Brooke Minton, Morgan Garcia and Kikika McLeod, were helping people register for the Adopt-a-Family Program, Wednesday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Community Counseling Services cafeteria. (Photo by Donna Summerall)
Staff Writer

In spite of rainy conditions, volunteers for Adopt-a-Family were at the Community Counseling Services cafeteria at 8 a.m. Wednesday, to help get people registered for the program.

"This a a program unique to West Point," Rachel Pate, director of Adopt-a-Family said. "I've had people from other towns approach me on how to get this sort of thing started, but so far, we are the only one."

Pate said it is due to the generosity and selflessness that can be found in West Point and Clay County. That is why the program is successful.

"We take the registration forms and make sure there is a need," Pate said. "We could not do this without help from Community Counseling and the Clay County Department of Human Services. If anyone thinks that I do this by myself, there is no way. We are very circumspect, we never give out the names of those on the list. If anyone wishes to adopt anonymously, we respect that, as well."

When people think about Adopt-a-Family, they always think of Pate. But she has a lot of help.

"Adopt - a - Family would not exist without these wonderful volunteers," Pate said. 'I cannot do this alone. I have a lot of help from these volunteers and from the generosity of the community. People say I'm the face of Adopt - a - Family, but these volunteers are the heart and soul."

Pate recently broke her back. But she has not let it slow her down. She has to sit after standing for a while and is undergoing therapy, but she is here for the families that need her.

"I don't know what will happen when Miss Rachel is no longer able to head Adopt-a-Family,," Morgan Garcia, of Renasant Bank said. "The fact that the community comes together every year to do this in incredible. We have such wonderful people here in West Point to keep Adopt-a-Family going."

Tim O'Brien of Renasant Bank said they are happy to continue supporting Adopt-a-Family.

"We appreciate everything Rachel does and the volunteers who put forth the effort. It blesses so many families and allows us to be blessed by participating. Renasant Bank is happy to be a part of Adopt-a-Family."

Pate said there are so many faithful people that they depend on during the months leading up to Adopt-a-Family.

"The Community Counseling Services volunteers are worth their weight in gold." Pate said. "They do so much to help, even delivering the gifts to the families."

The final list of those who meet the qualifications will appear in the Daily Times Leader the first week in December. Those who applied will receive a letter letting them know if they made the list or not, the first week in December.