Christmas can be the loneliest place on Earth.

Especially if you're a teen in a less-than-privileged family.

Chances are it's a single-parent home, one parent raising two or three children on less on a minimal income.

Chances are the kid will get new socks and underwear for Christmas -- that's all the mom or the dad or the guardian grandmother can possibly afford.

That's why the Edmonton Sun's Adopt-A-Teen Christmas Gift program for underprivileged teens was created 14 years ago: To give these underprivileged teens a Christmas gift.

With your help, Adopt-ATeen will make Christmas 2013 a much happier place for 8,000 Edmonton teens -- 10% of the total teen population -- who live in families eligible for Christmas Bureau or Salvation Army assistance.

Each child -- for that is what these teenagers are -- will received an Adopt-ATeen $50 Walmart gift card. It's all theirs, to spend as they want -- on themselves, their friends, to buy Christmas gifts for their brothers and sisters.

During the campaign, running from now through Dec. 24, we are asking for donations to cover the cost of the WalMart gift cards.

Donations can be made in three ways:

By credit card on the Internet at The Adopt-A-Teen website, www.AdoptATeenEdmonton.ca.Just click on the Donate button and fill in the blanks.

By credit card by phoning the Edmonton Sun's classified ad call centre, at 1-888- 786-7821, where our associates will happily accept donations to Adopt-A-Teen. The call centre is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays but is closed on Sundays.

Cheques can be made out to "Edmonton Sun Adopt-ATeen", mailed or dropped off to The Edmonton Sun, #350, 4990 92 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6B 3A1.

By cash: Please drop off cash donations to The Edmonton Sun reception desk on the third floor of the Sun building on the corner of 50 Street and 92 Avenue, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There's lots of parking.

Fifty dollars takes care of one teen, $100 for two, and so on.

Adopt-A-Teen is an all-volunteer effort spearheaded by the Edmonton Sun and assisted by the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton. Overhead is minimal. Tax receipts will be issued.

Please tell your friends about Adopt-A-Teen. Ask them to add one or two less-lucky teens to their Christmas gift list.

For more information, or to answer questions about Adopt-A-Teen, please visit the Adopt-A-Teen website, www.AdoptATeenEdmonton.ca.

For specific questions, feel free to contact me in the coming week at 780 707 6379 or graham.hicks@shaw.ca.

Here's a thank-you note Adopt-A-Teen received last year from a grateful single mom: "The Adopt-ATeen Christmas gift program made my son happy, not just because you gave him a gift card that I could not afford, but because he felt he was remembered with a gift on Christmas ...thank you so much for your kindness!

If you know of a hard-luck family with teens aged 13 to 17 needing a gift, please have the parent or guardian call the Christmas Bureau during office hours at 780 414 7695. If they meet income criteria, they'll be added to Santa's list.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas!