Putnam City’s CareShare Program Needs Help to Help Children

10.13.2017 2:39 PM

For 35 years a volunteer organization known as CareShare has used the kindness and generosity of the Putnam City community to provide help for families in need of assistance. Now, a little extra help may be needed.

CareShare operates two programs to help under-resourced children who attend school in Putnam City: CareShare Christmas, which provides Christmas gifts for children who otherwise would not receive any, and Penny’s Closet, a program that throughout the school year provides coats and shoes to students in need.

The CareShare Christmas program ensures that children in Putnam City schools whose parents cannot afford Christmas gifts for them will nevertheless have gifts to open on Christmas morning. The program begins its work each year with school counselors identifying families in need. Christmas wishes from children in those families are then fulfilled by Putnam City Schools’ classes, clubs, organizations, parent-teacher organizations, individual students and their parents who “adopt” families for Christmas and provide gifts for children. In addition, churches, businesses, organizations and people in the community also adopt families for Christmas.

Last year CareShare Christmas coordinated the adoption of an all-time high of 1,100 children in Putnam City. This year the number of children is expected to meet or exceed last year, a concern given a decline in the number of people and organizations adopting families. CareShare Coordinator Dondra Floresca is meeting with local churches in an attempt to close the gap.

There are two ways individuals, churches, businesses or organizations who wish to adopt the children of one or more families for Christmas can help CareShare:

1) Adopt a child or family. That can be done by filling out a CareShare adoption form that can be found by going to http://pcf4kids.org/care-share . The completed form should be sent to Floresca at floresca@cox.net by Monday, Oct. 30th. You will receive your adopted family’s list of needs and guidelines in early November, shop for the family (the amount spent per child is typically $75 to $100), and deliver the items to the school in early December.

2) Make a donation. To donate online, visit the Putnam City Schools Foundation website at http://pcf4kids.org/care-share. Please designate your gift for Penny’s Closet, Christmas, or area of greatest need. Putnam City Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and your donation is tax deductible.

Penny’s Closet, which provides coats and shoes for students whose families can’t afford them, is growing rapidly, Floresca says. Last year, the closet provided 275 coats and 225 pairs of shoes to district students. With students always growing and cold weather not far away, it’s certain that school counselors will soon be fielding requests for more coat and shoes.

CareShare only provides new coats and shoes to students, so donations of pre-owned coats or shoes cannot be used. Floresca says people and organizations who wish to help provide new coats and shoes to children who need them may make a donation to the cause at http://pcf4kids.org/care-share .

For more information about CareShare, contact Floresca at (405) 820-6089 or