A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Brighton Center makes the season brighter for hard-working families — and you can help

For over three decades, Brighton Center’s Holiday Drive has provided an opportunity for struggling individuals and families from Northern Kentucky to receive food and gifts during the holiday season. Individuals and families participating in agency programs are offered the opportunity to complete a Holiday Drive application with staff. Once families sign-up, they are randomly selected for either the Adoption program or the Wish Tree program.

Last year alone, 1,081 hard-working families taking steps toward achieving self-sufficiency received holiday gifts, clothing, and food in the month of December. This is only made possible by generous donors throughout the community. Last year, over 197 businesses, churches, organizations and individuals donated toys, gifts, clothing, blankets and food to assist Brighton Center Families.

 Saturday, December 8 – Used Toy Sale, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (741 Central Avenue Newport)
Day of Contact: Lauren Copeland, Senior Coordinator

 Wednesday, December 12th – 8:30–11:30 am Adult Only Food Distribution (households with adults only receive food)

 Thursday, December 13 – Friday, December 14 – Adoption Pick Up & Food Distribution (Family Center – 799 Ann Street, Newport KY) (families who were “adopted” by others pick up their gifts and food)

 Tuesday, December 18- Thursday, December 20 – Wish Tree Shopping (741 Central Avenue, Newport) and Food Distribution at Family Center (799 Ann Street, Newport) (families “shop” and select their child(s) gifts along with receiving food for the holidays)

Holiday Drive Programs

Holiday Drive Adoptions

Adopting a family allows the sponsor to purchase gift items for a specific family. Sponsors will specify the household size of the family they wish to adopt. Program families are then randomly selected based on this information. First names, ages, clothing sizes, and wish ideas are provided to sponsors so they can purchase items of their choice for each member of the household. Some sponsors also choose to purchase food for the family for their holiday meal, but if not, Brighton Center will provide a holiday food basket for them.

Holiday Drive Wish Tree

Wish Tree entails requesting a specific number of holiday gift “Wish Tree” tags for a church, school, or business. “Wish Tree” tags are the wish ideas of children pulled directly from Holiday Drive applications. Once all Wish Tree tag gift items are received and sorted for distribution, families “shop” and select their child(s) gifts. Each family is also provided with a food basket for their holiday meal

Used Toy Sale

Each year Brighton Center sponsors the Used Toy Sale, for young children ages 2 – 12 to “shop” for their friends and siblings. Used toys & bikes that have been donated to Brighton Center are cleaned and sorted by volunteers throughout the months of November and December. Toys are priced at 5, 10, and 25 cents so that children can have the experience of actually buying gifts for others. No child is turned away if they are not able to pay.

Food and Personal Care Donations

Food and personal care donations are greatly needed throughout the entire year. However, we typically serve more families with these items during the Holiday Season. Our Choice Food Pantry serves approximately 475 families/988 individuals a month. Food and personal care donations generate the majority of the items provided in our Choice Pantry, but there are times throughout the year that Brighton Center must purchase items to supplement quality choices to families. The food items we collect for the 900+ Holiday Meal packages include a ham, canned veggies, canned fruits, box of potatoes and stuffing and a dessert item.

Additionally, the Choice Pantry and personal care closet are always in need of the following items:

Cereal, Pancake Mix, and Syrup Canned Meats (Tuna, Chicken, Vienna Sausages)
Spaghetti and Pasta Sauce Canned Fruits/Veggies
Soups and Crackers Peanut Butter
Shampoo, Soap, Deodorant Toothpaste, Toothbrushes
Razors and Shaving Cream Laundry Detergent
Baby Diapers (sizes 3,4,5), Wipes Toilet paper & cleaning supplies
Hand Soap, Sanitizer & Lysol Spray or wipes

Snuggling Seniors

Brighton Center collects new small blankets for the 208 seniors we provide a holiday food basket to that reside in one of our three Senior Buildings.

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