Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family Program

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All month long, I’ll be sharing giving ideas and causes as part of The 30-Day Giving Challenge. The following is a guest post from Kristia of Family Balance Sheet.

In November 2005, I read an article in the newspaper that grabbed at my heart. The Salvation Army was seeking sponsors to participate in their Adopt-A-Family program for the upcoming holiday season. These local families were in need of assistance from the community to help make their Christmas bright.

As a sponsor, you made a commitment to provide the adopted family with all of the ingredients needed for the family to prepare a holiday meal, including the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, fruit cup, noodles, gravy, rolls, pie filling and crust.

The sponsor also provided each child in the adopted family a hat, pair of gloves, an outfit, and a toy. We would be given information about the children to make the necessary purchases.

The food and gifts needed to be delivered to the adoptive family by the second week of December.

In November 2005, our first daughter had just been born and honestly I was in a fog, but something about that article spoke to me. I talked to my husband and he agreed that we should become sponsors. After that first year, we felt so strongly about the program that the next year we decided to participate in the Adopt-A-Senior program as well. With the senior program, the sponsor is only asked to provide the meal components.

Every year, I buy all of the food right before Thanksgiving to take advantage of the sales on holiday food and turkeys. I buy the clothes and toys for the children during the After-Thanksgiving sales and we make the deliveries by early December.

After the first year, I started to also include ingredients for the seniors and the family to make a holiday breakfast, but this in not required. My fondest holiday memories from my childhood include the amazing breakfast that my mother would make. Since having children, my husband and I have decided that we wanted to make breakfast a part of our own holiday tradition, so we have included ingredients for breakfast for our adoptive families as well.

Over the years, I have met some beautiful people through this program. The families are very appreciative and excited about the food and gifts. Part of me wishes that I could see the children open their presents on Christmas morning, but I know that is not my place. We participate because God has blessed us beyond our dreams and expectations and we feel it is a small way to give back to the community.

One year after the holiday I received a thank-you card from the sweet senior couple that we sponsored. When I walked into their home, I knew immediately why God had sent me there with a big box of food. In the thank-you card the wife told me how she and her husband had enjoyed the meal with their family. After the turkey was gone she used the bones to make a large pot of turkey noodle soup…a woman after my own heart.

Contact your local Salvation Army, if you are interested in participating in the Adopt-A-Family program.

Kristia is a wife, mother and the family office manager. She owns where she writes and shares about family finances, food and home-management.


  1. The Prudent Homemaker says

    What a wonderful program! I love that it gives needs–food and needed warm clothing–instead of just toys, like some programs. Often what means more to a child is to be warm and to have a full belly.

    I know that the hardest thing for many families in need is underwear and socks. Many things can be given as hand-me-downs to other families, but underwear, socks (and often pajamas as well) are lacking. Some people may think, oh, but socks aren’t a “fun” gift, when really the child would just like warm feet. My 5-year-old son thinks socks are a great gift!

  2. says

    My husband and I are in Salvation Army ministry in Atlanta, GA, and I stumbled upon your post tonight via various links as I was surfing the web. What a beautiful surprise!
    I want to say thank you on behalf of many needy families and many people in our ministry that work tirelessly through the Christmas season. We don’t often get to hear the wonders that God works amidst the effort.
    For those who can’t give in this way, smile at your local bellringer! Even if you can’t drop a dime in the bucket, a smile will make their day! Blessings on you and yours!

  3. says

    I’m sorta sad because I don’t see an Adopt a family anywhere close to me. While I’m happy to help the kiddos and organizations out, I was excited to find a family in need to help.

    Do y’all know of any other ways to find families who need help?

    • JeAnetta Morgan says

      Hi Lori, I’m Je’Anetta Morgan, if you are still interested in adopting a family, you can adopt my 3 year old daughter Jazmine. I’m sorry for respond late to you. I can be reached at (678) 901- 7575 Je’Anetta.

      Thank You,

    • Reanna says

      yes they stay across the street from me they are really stuggling & they could use some help like footballs basketball soccer balls and clothes shoes alot just contact me at my email and i well let you out on some information @Lori,

  4. mommyof1 says

    I am a single mom of a 2 year old and full time student I have been looking into the adopt a family program and have been trying to get information to sign up for the program as I know christmas is right around the corner and i am living on a tight budget and really need help does anyone know a place of where and how i can get adopted or sponsored?

  5. says

    I am a single mother struggling through college. I am in need of a Christmas dinner and toys for my 4 year old son and I also have a seventeen year old son. I recently lost my income due to paperwork errors. I’m crying just writing this because I feel like I have failed my children and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I am not even going to be able to feed my children for the next month and I am at risk of losing my home. Everything will be okay in one month but I have no idea what I am going to do for now to keep my home and feed my children till then. I am hoping and praying that there is someone out there that can help my family.I have never done this before so I don’t know how to get adopted or sponsored. May God Bless anyone that can help. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  6. Lisa Streeter says

    Can someone please tell me where I can apply for Christmas help for food and toys for my family? Every year I am too late and trying to apply early. Please help if you have any info of where I can apply in Georgia.

  7. says

    My name is Mendee Hunt and I am a mother of 2 wonderful boys..4 months and a 7 year old..I am in desperate need of help for the christmas holidays of 2012.. No gift is too small and will be greatly appreciated..Please contact me at 4046689606..Thanking you in advance and God bless.

  8. Dianna McAllister says

    Hi my name is Dianna McAllister an I am in desperate need for Christmas for my 7 grandchildren I am a single mom an grandparent an I am only 42 an I am on disability because of a back injury money is so tight I don’t even have enough money to buy one of my children a present let alone my grandbabies whom mean the world to me I have never ever had to ask anybody for anything my whole life but know I need help so if anybody could help me help my grandbabies I would really really appricate it I have 5 grandsons their ages are 8,4,1,1, an 5months an my 2 granddaughter’s are both 4yrs old an no their not twins they are 31 days apart if nobody can help me god bless you for reading this an have a very MARRY CHRISTMAS an a HAPPY NEW YEAR SIGNED Dianna McAllister!!

  9. staci says

    I am a mother with a three year old daughter. My boyfriend works the best he can. We are in debt and trying to build a house. I am unable to work do to my health issues. I just would really like help getting gifts for my daughter and electrical supplies for my boyfriend. It is my only wish to see them get things that i can not provide for them. Maybe some kitchen appliances as we have none. We only have the bedroom and bathroom partly done. I do not want anything for myself for getting help with obtaining gifts for my beautiful daughter and my boy friend would be the best gift to me.

  10. says

    Hi I’m writing because my family is in dire need of help as soon as possible. I have three beautiful, amazing children Elijah 6, Ella 4, and Emily 2. We have had a very rough last 2 years, I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis and have had one down fall after another with my health, I am unemployed and waiting on my status for disability and due to the lack of income my family is going to be without a place to live or much to our name besides clothes and a bed as of March 05 2014. If there is any way that you or anyone you know can help us in any way possible please help us! I can give you proof of everything I’m telling you or anything you need! thank you for your time and God bless!

  11. Beverly Czerwinski says

    My name is beverly i am a mother of 4 and 3 grandchildren one boy 18 months and 2 granddaughter s ages 6 and 7 my husband has been off work for six months may through november and has recently went back right before thanksgiving he was ddiagnosed with lung cancer and had half of his lung removed my youngest son whom is 28 is on ssi do to his falling off of a bridge and suffering tbi traumatic brain injusries my oldest sonunemployed and has moved back.home all i want is tooo have a nice holiday please help me and my family no i am not collecting or recieving aid but my funds have been deminished and i have played the mmonopoly game of making arangements with my bill ccollectors and borrowing from pPeter to pay paul

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