Adopt-A-Family brings help for the holidays 

  • Simonne Coderre, left, and David Coderre, right, organize clothing at Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County, Friday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • David Coderre displays handmade gifts he made for needy people in Franklin County at Holy Family Catholic Church in South Deerfield Friday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Boxes fill Holy Family Catholic Church in South Deerfield during Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County's distribution event Friday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Simonne Coderre, left, and David Coderre, right. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

Recorder Staff
Friday, December 15, 2017

SOUTH DEERFIELD — For local residents Simonne Coderre, 73, and son, David Coderre, 49, volunteering is what the holiday season is all about.

“It’s very hard for a family who can’t provide for their family around Christmas,” Simmone Coderre said, while organizing donations for people in need at Holy Family Catholic Church with her son. As both have faithfully done for the past decade or so, they volunteered Friday at Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County’s distribution event.

Annually, the regional charity matches sponsors with needy families selected by various social service agencies. Sponsors purchase gifts based on wish lists created by the families.

The mother and son pair’s generosity stems from personal experience. As a child, David Coderre suffered a serious illness. He has a developmental delay and a seizure disorder that requires an implant to control.

“When my son got sick, my husband had just opened a law practice. He had no clients, and no income,” Simonne Coderre recalled. “There weren’t that many agencies to help.”

In weeks following, the family was enveloped by the faith community at their local Catholic church. Today, led by Simonne Coderre, the parish community continues that charitable spirit by sponsoring a dozen families every year through Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County. The church also puts up and decorates a “giving tree” that serves as a centralized place where parishioners hang items like gift cards. Others take them off.

“Now we’re volunteering together. Our church always adopts a few families. David always picks out things for the children, or makes gifts. He does a lot of arts and crafts. He has made a lot of things for families,” she continued.

David Coderre’s handmade gifts were spread out on one table Friday, amid a mountain of boxes overflowing with wrapped gifts and clothing items.

“I like to work helping people because it makes people happy at Christmas,” David Coderre said, holding up an owl made from wood and pumpkin seeds. “There are a lot of people who don’t have things to do” during the holidays,” he continued. “I have many things to do.”

Next year, to get a jump start on giving, David Coderre said he intends to begin making his gifts in the spring, “instead of waiting until the last second to do it.”

This year, Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County sponsors from across the region gave enough for about 200 local families in need, providing them with basic necessities and festive gifts through community donations.

“Donators came through with large and small contributions, so we were able to take care of everyone,” said organizer Libby Kolasinski, who was also there helping out.

Adopt-A-Family of Franklin County operates through donations and is run by volunteers. Thus, it’s because of people like the Coderres, who are committed to simple generosity, that it’s successful year after year, Kolasinski said.

While this year’s drive has been completed, Kolasinski said the charity is accepting donations for next year. Those who wish to sponsor a family next year or otherwise get involved, may email or call: libbykol@comcast.net, or 413-665-7031.