Adopt-a-Family Frequently Asked Questions
What is Adopt-a-Family?
Adopt-a-Family is a holiday giving program designed to help low-income families who are Lifeline clients celebrate the holiday season by connecting them with local businesses, organizations, and individuals who “adopt” them.
How are families selected for Adopt-a-Family?
All families who are adopted are Lifeline clients and are nominated by Lifeline staff for their hard work and dedication to becoming self-sufficient. This includes families who have experienced homelessness, youth who have aged out of foster care, youth participating in juvenile diversion programs, survivors of human trafficking, and others. These families are low income or face economic challenges on a daily basis.
Will I get a chance to meet my family?
Due to the nature of services Lifeline provides and in order to best respect this confidentiality, we do not allow donors to meet the family(ies) and will not provide donors with more than first names of family members. Lifeline strives to give our clients the dignity and confidentiality they deserve. Thank you for your support and respecting the privacy of our clients.
How does it work?
Complete the Adopt-a-Family interest form to get started. Then, Lifeline will match you with a Lifeline family and provide you with a personalized list of the things they need most, as well as wish items for the holidays. Then, you deliver the gifts no later than December 14th, 2020 to Lifeline’s Vista Campus.
Lifeline staff arranges the delivery of gifts, and can include a personal message from you and your own household or group if you wish. Donors will receive a thank you note from their recipient family.
This year, because of COVID-19 and in an effort to maintain as little physical contact as possible, we are encouraging donors to use our online donation option, if they wish, so that families can purchase their own gifts. We will also be taking extra precautions for those who wish to continue to purchase gifts and deliver them to Lifeline.
How much does it cost to adopt a family?
Over the years, we have determined that donors on average spend between $75-100 per individual. If you want to make your gift go as far as possible, please contact us. We can match you with a larger or smaller family to meet your budget. You can also adopt a family as a group of two or more donors who give together to sponsor a family. Or, you can donate gift cards which are helpful in providing basic needs for families.
Can I donate used items?
We do not accept donations of used goods for the holiday season. All gifts and donations must be new.
Can I adopt multiple families?
Yes, you can adopt as many families as you wish as long as you can provide the same level of commitment to each family.
Can my group adopt a family?
Yes! The Adopt-a-Family program is a great opportunity for schools, faith groups, businesses, and other organizations. Groups are often able to adopt multiple families or larger families, which are typically more difficult to match.
When and where should I deliver gifts?
Due to COVID-19, this year we will not be hosting our annual Drop-off Party. Instead, we will be accepting gifts November 30-December 14 during designated drop off times at our Vista Campus. More information and details to come.
How should the items be delivered? Should we wrap the gifts?
This year we ask that ALL gifts be unwrapped. We encourage donors to include gift-wrapping with the donation so that families can wrap presents themselves.
We ask that you deliver your gifts in large bins, boxes, or bags so we can ensure your items stay together. It is helpful, but not required, to separate gifts for each family member into their own box/bin/ bag.
Most importantly: make sure the recipient’s name and family code are clearly labeled on all gifts.
Once all of your gifts are labeled and placed in boxes/bins/ bags, please label the container with the family code and list how many boxes you have for the family.
For example if there are 3 total boxes: Box 1 of 3, Box 2 of 3, Box 3 of 3, etc.
If you have more than one family, please use separate boxes for each family.
*if you include Gift Cards, please make sure they are activated at time of drop off. To ensure they do not get lost, please put them in one envelope, clearly labeled with the intended recipient, and write the family code on the envelope.*
What if I can’t follow through with my adoption?
If you are unable to follow through with your adoption, please contact us immediately. We will need to make other arrangements for the family.
I can’t adopt a family, but I still want to donate and/or volunteer my time. How can I help?
We always appreciate any donation to Lifeline! Please visit this page to learn about the various ways you can help. Gift cards of any denomination and stores are used to support a family who either hasn’t been adopted, or who needs a little extra support. We also have an Amazon wish list with items needed specifically for Adopt a Family such as wrapping paper and supplies, gift bags, Christmas trees and decorations, etc.
Throughout the first 2 weeks of December, we need dozens of volunteers! Contact us if you would like to volunteer—bring family, friends, co-workers, the more the merrier! We will of course be following safety recommendations and protocols to prevent the spread COVID-19.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Adopt-a-Family gifts and donations can be tax-deductible. You will receive a thank you letter in January describing your participation in the program; only gift cards or cash donations will be given their corresponding dollar value in the letter. Keep your receipts as backup for in-kind donations so you can attach those to the letter for tax purposes. Our tax ID Number is 95-2794253.
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