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Sharing Families falling short of sponsors

As we head into December, the Sharing Families Project is making a plea for sponsors for families it aims to help this holiday season.

As of Wednesday morning, nine families -- a total of 56 people -- remain “unadopted.”  The families range in size from seven to four people and include single-parent families, a dad off work due to an injury and a mom who had been unemployed and is now starting a new job.

The program’s goal is to have all 50 families “adopted” by Dec. 1 to give sponsors time to shop and meet the Dec. 14 deadline for dropping off gifts at the River Falls Journal office.

“Each year we worry that families will go unsponsored, but in the previous 28 years that has never happened,” said Judy Wiff, president of the non-profit's board of directors.

"We very much appreciate those who have already come forward to sponsor a family or families, but we do need more." 

Thanks to carry-over funds and generous donations from businesses and individuals, the project has enough money to buy the groceries it promises for each of its recipient families. But getting the clothing and toys the families want will be more difficult. 

Here are two examples of families still needing help: 

  • A couple with young children. The dad was injured and will be off work for several months yet.
  • A woman with little kids who just relocated to this area.

These are ways you could help: 

  • Sponsor a family or child and buying the items they have requested. Those who decide to do that are asked to call the Journal main desk at 715-425-1561 or the Sharing Families dedicated line at 715-425-1054 or email
  • Add a child to your shopping list and buying a new toy, game or outfit for that child.
  • Make a donation of money to buy toys and clothing. (No cash will be given to families.)

All contributions are tax-deductible. Sharing Families is an IRS-approved 501©(3) organization.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.