Christmas can be a difficult time for some families.

Many of the families in Ranch Ehrlo’s Family Treatment Programs (FTP) struggle with poverty, which can lead to disappointment and unmet hopes for children and stress and struggles for parents.

“Poverty lends to challenges in having Christmas gifts, or food during the holiday season,” explained FTP director Patti Petrucka. “There is much worry about being able to buy your child a gift to open on Christmas morning.”

But the families in the programs are getting a hand up thanks to some generous local businesses this Christmas.

BASF Agriculture has once again chosen the family program to be the recipient of gifts and the proceeds from a raffle held at their annual Christmas party, slated for December 15th. Patti, along with program manager Sharon Miller, will be attending the party to accept the donation and say a few words.

“We feel so grateful that BASF Agriculture has chosen our families for this generous donation,” Patti said.

School age students are also getting in on the giving. Students from Megaw’s Montessori Academy will be donating toys to the children in the FTP and Intensive Family Preservation Service (IFPS). Each year, students typically raise $400 to $500 for a charitable cause within the city and this year chose the family programs as their recipients. Pilot Butte School's grade 7/8 class raised over $600 selling candy canes and hot chocolate over the course of a week and presented the cheque to FTP manager Jordan Hubick on December 10th.

The FTP currently has 87 children, while the IFPS has 20, all of whom will benefit from these generous donations.

The program also received a generous donation of handmade winter wear from an anonymous donor to keep families warm in the chilly weather!

Finally, families will also have the opportunity to get photos with Santa at no cost thanks to local photographer Daryl Fraess of Just Us Dogs Pet Care. Daryl will be attending the program Christmas party to take photos for the second year in a row. He develops the photos at no charge for the families, so they can have a keepsake to mark this special time of year.