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 FamilyBalanceSheet.org where she writes and shares about family finances, food and home-management.