Susan Ede Brings Holiday Cheer to Hundreds

Mediaon December 7th, 2017Comments Off on Susan Ede Brings Holiday Cheer to Hundreds

“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a song that a lot of us are used to hearing when the month of December rolls around. And for many, the song rings true.  For lots of folks here in our region, it truly is a wonderful time of year as we plan, shop, cook and celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. But this isn’t the case for everyone.  For families who have fallen upon hard times resulting from a host of different reasons such as job loss, injury, illness or an unexpected expense, this time of year can be anything but wonderful.

This is where the Freestore Foodbank’s Adopt-A-Family Program, and volunteers like Susan Ede come in. In early December, Susan and her “volunteer- helpers” transform the third floor of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center into Gift-Central for many families in the Cincinnati area.  Serving about 130 families who are in shelters or part of our protective payee, direct rent and stabilization programs, the Adopt-A-Family-Program seeks to provide a memorable and rewarding holiday experience to every member of the household.

The process officially gets underway in August when families in our programs are asked to fill out wish lists of items that they would like for Christmas.  Starting around October, donors (private individuals and corporate groups) contact Susan and are supplied with lists from the adopted families to help guide them in picking up gifts.  Early in December, hundreds of these gifts are dropped off at the Customer Connection Center to be sorted, organized, and prepped for their final holiday destination. Susan and her crew make sure everything and everyone is accounted for from the mountains of dropped-off gifts.

About two weeks before Christmas, clients are invited to come in and pick up their family’s presents.  “It’s a little crazy,  but fun,” Susan says about her project, as she passes out children’s books and stuffed toys for the little ones along with household cleaning items, personal care products, gloves, scarfs, and much more for their parents.

Overall, for Susan and all of the volunteers and donors who participate, The Freestore Foodbank’s Adopt-A-Family-Program is a labor of love that is right in tune with this season of giving. If a few presents and a little care can help make this season a more wonderful time of year for a family that needs it, that just makes everyone’s holiday season a little bit brighter!

Whether you are an individual who is just looking to make a difference or a family, small civic group or corporation looking to give back in a very special way, there are plenty of ways that you can help with the Freestore Foodbank’s Adopt-A-Family-Program!

For questions or more information about how you can get involved with the Adopt-A-Family-Program, please email Susan at