As final preparations intensify for Adopt-A-Family’s Dec. 14 delivery day, officials are still accepting gifts to make Christmas a more joyous celebration for more than 400 needy families in the downtown Los Angeles area.Gifts of toys, school supplies, warm clothing and blankets are especially welcomed to help meet the needs of families living in some of downtown’s poorest neighborhoods. Also needed are practical hygiene and cleaning supplies.Monetary donations will be gratefully accepted as well, say officials, noting that these donations help pay rent and utility bills for families who have enough difficulty putting food on their families’ tables.Several sponsorship opportunities, in fact, are suggested for prospective donors:—Basic Needs Sponsor: provides financial support to cover rent and/or utility bills, helping to ensure the longterm physical well-being of a needy family.—Gift Box Sponsor: provides a $300 contribution to underwrite the cost of a family gift box, which includes two weeks’ worth of nutritious food, practical hygiene and cleaning supplies, blankets, clothing and special presents for each recipient-family member.—Family Sponsor: provides gift items for an individual family, determined through a family profile and “wish list” supplied to the donor. “Since families of various sizes are available for adoption, this is a great opportunity for groups of individuals or organizations to work together in support of a needy family,” said Lydia Gamboa, Adopt-A-Family coordinator.—Volunteer: provides hands-on assistance to the Adopt-A-Family program through participation in organizing donations, wrapping presents and packing gift boxes prior to the event, or coordinating a drive for food or gifts.For information on how to participate through these or other opportunities, call Gamboa at (213) 637-7501.“Our Lord asks us to ‘go out to all the nations,’ and as we know borders are not necessarily geographic or political,” noted Gamboa. “Skid Row is its own world — and it is filled with families who deserve our love and support.”Since it was launched 23 years ago, Adopt-A-Family has made possible for thousands of struggling families with children in the Skid Row area to celebrate Christmas with gifts and food generously donated by the local community.On Dec. 7, the sorting and packaging of food boxes, where contributions (many from Catholic schools) are assembled, will take place, along with gift wrapping. All next week (Dec. 9-13), volunteers will assist in unloading cars and trucks that come to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to drop off gifts for distribution.Finally, the Dec. 14 delivery is preceded by an early morning prayer service led by Archbishop José Gomez, who then participates in the delivery, generally completed by 11 a.m. There is a particular need for volunteers with trucks or very large cars.Donations via check can be sent to Adopt-A-Family, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Please make checks payable to Adopt-A-Family. Credit card donations are also accepted.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/1206/adopt{/gallery}