The Deseret News is sponsoring its annual Christmas program to assist families in need again this year.

"Santa's Helping Hand" assists families with two or more children between the ages of 3 and 14. Single-child families are not included because families requesting help greatly outnumber donors.Additionally, the Deseret News Santa's Helping Hand program assists families in Salt Lake County living west of 2200 West and south of 4500 South. The newspaper is a member of the Christmas Coordinating Council, which consists of such agencies as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Marine's Toys for Tots, Community Action Program and the Salt Lake Tribune.

The council was established in order to avoid duplication and to ensure that all families in need receive at least some assistance.

Families who feel that they may qualify for help should apply through the Community Action Program, 764 S. 200 West, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications will be taken through Nov. 30.

Donors are urgently needed to adopt needy families. Individuals, families, church groups, fraternities, sororities or other organizations should call Santa's Helping Hand at 237-2139 to adopt a family or families.