Family & Children's Agency "elves" worked throughout December to create the holiday spirit for more than 1,000 clients, assisted by many local corporations and other donors who provided presents, gift cards, meals and special treats.

Agency President and CEO Rob Cashel expressed thanks on behalf of the organization and its clients.

"So many people have been so generous with their time and talents to once again help our clients have special holiday celebrations," he said. "We are very grateful to everyone who has joined us in this effort."

Adaptive Marketing LLC, Diageo, General Re Corporation, Xerox Corporation and the Chilton family all sponsored holiday parties for agency clients, which include children and their families, kids and adults.

Adaptive Marketing, along with Media Storm, Norwalk Hospital, Darien Girl Scout Troop 50152 and individual families, participated in the Sponsor a Family Program. Each group selected one or more families who are in great need of assistance this year and provided several gifts for each member of the family.

FactSet Research Systems Inc., General Re, Pepperidge Farm, Inc., as well as Triple Point Technology in Westport and Grace Episcopal Church in Norwalk, participated in the gift collection program, purchasing individual presents that were requested by children and adults who use the Agency services.

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Several groups, including the Darien Girl Scouts, New Canaan Cub Scouts, and children at the Tumble Bugs Day School in Norwalk and Osborn Hill Elementary in Fairfield prepared "Holiday Meals to Go," which included pasta and jars of sauce, canned vegetables and fruits and mixes to make cookies or brownies for dessert. Board members and friends of the agency provided grocery gift cards for clients to purchase food for the holidays. The Wilton Girl Scouts contributed "Jars of Joy" cookie mix for clients in the Agency's Project REWARD program, which supports women who are recovering from addiction.

Two groups of children helped brighten the holiday for foster children and their families. New Canaan YMCA's Indian Guides and Indian Princesses created gift bags and baked cookies for the Foster Care holiday party. In addition, students in the Kids Care Club at Ox Ridge Elementary School in Darien spent several of their weekly meetings making party decorations, personalized gift bags and cookies for the party.

"We especially appreciate the contributions from the children, who are beginning to learn about supporting and helping people in their communities whose lives are different from theirs," Mayx Holmes, manager of volunteers at the agency, said. "The holidays provide us with a great opportunity to say `thank you' to all of our volunteers who work with us throughout the year to help our clients toward better lives."

Family & Children's Agency is a leading nonprofit human service organization that provides strength-based, solution focused services to respond to the needs of more than 10,000 children and families throughout Connecticut. For more information,visit www.familyandchildrensagency.org.