PATERSON, N.J. — Volunteers from Mahwah and Wyckoff dropped into the Hilltop Haven Family Shelter in Paterson to spread holiday cheer to homeless Bergen County families last weekend.
The volunteers each agreed to adopt a family staying in the shelter. On Saturday the volunteers hosted a luncheon with their adopted families where they handed out gifts and sang Christmas carols.
Planning Board Member Jonathan Marcus made an appearance as Santa Claus.
"It is wonderful to see the overwhelming desire of my community to give not only material goods, but time and energy toward helping others," said Cristyn Madley, who helped find sponsors for the shelter families.
"The interactions between sponsors and the recipients at the luncheon is so touching. Entire families bonding in one afternoon."
Madley took over finding sponsors last year after the Bergen County Volunteers Adopt A Family Program said they were no longer able to support the shelter.
She turned to the Wyckoff Moms Facebook group who banded together to sponsor 42 families in the shelter this year and an additional 18 from the Hispanic Community Center.
Hilltop Haven is a residential shelter for homeless families that provides sleeping accommodations and food as well as assistance finding permanent housing and services.
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