How to Adopt a Family for Christmas

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This Christmas, when you are putting up your tree, buying gifts and wrapping them, making fancy feasts and spending time with family, remember those who are not so fortunate. Many people are struggling to make ends meet for their day-to-day lives, let alone adding Christmas to the mix. If you are fortunate to have all you need and so much more, why not help those who do not have it so good? Adopting a family is rewarding for you and will make the recipient happy.

How to Adopt a Family for Christmas

  • Contact a local social service agency in your area such as the United Way, Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army or other local organization specific to your area, to connect with a family in need that you can help. If you have trouble finding an agency, contact your county government who can refer you to agencies in your community or see the Resources section below. Volunteer Match and many other sites have numerous opportunities to help the community, including adopting a family.

  • Relay your budget to the organization's representative who can then help you decide the size family that you should provide for, based on the amount of money you have. If your budget is limited you may want to help a single mom and her one child. If you have more money to work with, you may want to brighten Christmas for a mom, dad and their multiple children.

  • Ask questions about the family you choose to make sure you get them what they want and what they can use. Ask their sex, sizes, ages, ethnicity (if you plan on buying dolls) and see if you can find out specific items they'd like to receive.

  • Obtain coupons and go shopping. Try to get as much as you can with the amount of money you have. Places like Wal-Mart and Target are great places to go since you can usually get things very inexpensively.

  • Arrange a convenient time to drop off the gifts and mingle with the family you are providing for. If you are uncomfortable, drop them off to the organization that you are working with and let them pass the gifts along.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to get your friends or family members to help with your adopted family. Not only will pooling your money together allow you to buy more, it will be more fun for you to shop for the family if you have company.
  • Ask the agency you are working with if you should wrap the presents. Some places rely on other local organizations, like high school students who make their contribution to the community by wrapping the gifts that you provide.
  • Find out if the family needs Christmas dinner and provide it if they do. Be sure to ask first, because again, many organizations already have that taken care of and are just looking to you to provide gifts.

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