SMILE Agency provides local families with Christmas gifts

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Local families living in poverty will have a brighter Christmas this year, thanks to several companies and organizations who sponsored SMILE’s ‘Embrace a Family’ program.

One of the recipients, Jennifer Trumps, tells us, “It uplifts our Christmas. It’s going to be able to give my kids a little more than what I was able to provide for them.”

All families are clients of SMILE Community Action Agency, and they were randomly selected for the new program.

Susannah Malbreaux, RSVP Project Director, says, “We do outreach to three parishes, Lafayette, St. Martin, and New Iberia, so I reached out to the parish manager in each of those areas and  just had them randomly select names.”

Five out of ten families were present today, but a total of 32 people will receive gifts from the program this year, and thanks to ‘Embrace a Family’ every single one of those family members will receive at least one gift this Christmas.

“The gifts are a surprise so it will be exciting to see. A lot of programs just do it for the kids, where this program actually did [it] for the parents as well, so I’m very excited to see what’s in there for me too,” says Trumps.

She also tells us she’s grateful that the community would come together to help during this holiday season, “It’s very touching and heart-warming that members of the community and individuals would you know, open up this Christmas season to help out lower-income families who have trouble making ends meet on a regular basis and then you have the added stress of wanting to give your kids a good Christmas.”

SMILE Community Action Agency says that even though this is their first year to offer the program, they definitely plan on having it again in the years ahead, and look forward to seeing it grow.

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