Holiday assistance program helps those in need

TAYLOR — Christmas came early to Downriver this year.

On Dec. 14, The Information Center, with a host of volunteers and the assistance of National City Bank PNC, distributed gifts to families in need.

Despite tough times, the Holiday Assistance Program managed to ensure a merry Christmas, with 58 donors providing toys, games, clothing and gift cards for 541 people in 156 families, including senior citizens.

Still, the economic hardships in the region have taken a toll on the program. This year, center was able to help 20 percent fewer families than in 2008, due to a shortage of donors.

“Our staff pitched in with donations in an effort to pick up the slack, but this program really relies on the community to help our less fortunate neighbors,” said Lori Stevenson, the program coordinator.

The Holiday Assistance Program has been operated by the center for more than 30 years and serves to match families in need with businesses and individuals that want to help. The program focuses on Downriver families with children age 16 or younger.

To learn more about center and all of its community programs, call (734) 282-7171 or go to