The business of the holiday season did not stop employees of Alacriant, Inc. from taking time for some extra shopping and gift-giving. Alacriant partnered with NEOPAT (Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism) to adopt two military families for the holidays.

Last year, NEOPAT and its 36 sponsors helped 44 families. This year that increased to 68 families with the help of 54 sponsors, including Alacriant.

“This is a huge improvement, and we are so grateful for all our sponsors this year,” said Doug and Eneida Dentler, co-chairs of the campaign.

“Adopting” a family included shopping for Christmas presents and delivering them in person. On Dec. 15, when Jeff Berkes, Tina Vanscoy, Susan Lass and Michael Taylor went to the home of five-year Marine Corps veteran, the whole family met them at the door! The first presents the kids opened were new bicycle helmets. After opening them and trying them on, they rushed outside to see their new bikes. The gifts also included clothes, shoes and new bedding.

The father said during the five years of duty, he only saw his family for a total of eight months. “That was the hardest part; I needed to see my girls,” he said.

On Dec. 19, Jeff Berkes, Tina Vanscoy, Phil White and Michael Taylor took gifts to the family of a 15-year veteran of the National Guard, who is a chinook helicopter mechanic. He and his wife, a special needs teacher working on her master’s degree, have three children, all age 3.  The gifts for this deserving family included gift cards for gas and groceries, shoes and, of course, diapers.