MOUNTAIN – Christmas Day (Wed., Dec. 25) is fast approaching, and the House of Lazarus (HOL) Food Bank is hoping there are several holiday enthusiasts out there looking to play the role of Santa Claus this Christmas.

“Christmas can be expensive,” HOL client services manager Kim Merkley said. “The majority of our food bank clients are struggling to pay for rent, utilities, and every day food supplies. ‘Extras,’ like a Christmas tree, Christmas dinner, or presents for under the tree, are just plain out of reach. This is why we have the Adopt-A-Family, Adopt-A-Senior, and Adopt -A-Single/Couple programs every Christmas.”

In an effort to reach as many community neighbours in need as possible, HOL Food Bank clients are being joined by financially vulnerable clients from Winchester District Memorial Hospital, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Eastern Champlain Health Links for this year’s Adopt-A program.

As of this week, HOL, with its partner agencies, has 81 families, 20 seniors (singles/couples), and 49 single/couples signed up for the program.

With many donors having come forward already, the remaining need is 16 families, five seniors, and 35 single/couples. The majority of families still left to be adopted are those with older children and a larger number of family members.

Those who wish to share their good fortune with Adopt-A participants have the option of providing a dinner or providing gifts for the whole family or doing both.

To ‘adopt’ someone this Christmas, email Merkley at or phone 613-989-3830 for more information.

“We are so blessed,” Merkley said. “The help we receive every Christmas and every day of the year is just phenomenal and we are so grateful. Thank you.”