HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Governor Tom Wolf joined state officials, government employees, and members of the National Guard for the 26th annual Holiday Wish Program gift drive in Harrisburg, which provides donated gifts to about 200 families and 100 seniors across Pennsylvania.
"The holiday season can be a financially difficult time for many Pennsylvania families," said Governor Wolf. "I am honored to join in this annual tradition with the members of my cabinet and the hundreds of state workers who participated in this generous drive."
"Commonwealth employees come together every year to make the holidays a little brighter for hundreds of Pennsylvania families," Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said. "Many Pennsylvania families work hard to make ends meet, and may still be struggling. The Holiday Wish program shows the true spirit of the holiday season, not only in the faces of the families who are receiving gifts, but those who are giving them."
Cabinet members and executives from the departments of Human Services, Aging, General Services, Health, Transportation, and Labor and Industry joined the National Guard to celebrate, while children from local child care providers were visited by Santa Claus.
Volunteer state employees and the Pennsylvania National Guard loaded wrapped gifts into military vehicles and delivered them to participating county assistance offices for distribution to the families and individuals.
The families and older adults sponsored for the event were identified through case workers at county assistance offices, a senior citizen complex serving older adults in need, and a community action agency. They list a few gifts they would like to receive, and state employees then choose to sponsor a family or individual.
"We hope that these gifts bring a little bit of relief to seniors and a whole lot of joy to the children of hundreds of Pennsylvania families," said Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne. "We are so proud of and grateful for the generosity of the commonwealth employees who donated their time and demonstrated their care and concern for others"
The Holiday Wish program was started in 1989 by a small group of employees from DHS, formerly known as the Department of Public Welfare. Over the years, it has grown to include hundreds of employees in several departments.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan - 717.783.1116
Alison Gantz, DHS, 717.425.7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor