Adopt a Family
Each year, the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides Christmas help to families in St. Joseph County. This program is not possible without families, businesses, small groups, and other community members who "adopt" these families and provide Christmas gifts and a holiday meal.
What it means to "adopt" a family:
You must contact your family via phone, text, or email to let them know they have been adopted, to clarify any gift ideas, and to organize gift delivery
Provide two gifts per child in the family (ages 0-14) [see FAQ's for more information]
Provide food or a gift card for Christmas dinner
Questions about adoption? See FAQs below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What kinds of gifts are suggested?
Those adopting a family receive a “wish list” from the family. You will be responsible for at least two gifts per child (a total of $50 in value). We suggest one “large” gift (a $35 value) and one “smaller” gift (a $15 value) for each child. However, you may decide differently based on the wish list. For example, a child REALLY wants a scooter and its value is $40 alone. You may choose to purchase only the one gift, or give that and then a “token” smaller gift.
2. Since we only “guarantee” gifts for those up to age 14, what if there are children in the family over the age of 14?
The program is a gift giving program for children up through the age of 14. As an adopter, you will only receive information about each child in the family aged 14 and younger. Older children and adults will be included in the count for the holiday meal.
3. Do I need to buy gifts for adults in the home?
You are not obligated to purchase gifts for anyone over the age of 14 in the family. Some adopters choose to purchase small, token items such as personal care items (soap, hygiene items, items not covered by food stamps) or candy for older children or adults. Again, this is a personal choice and you are not obligated to do so.
4. Do I need to provide Christmas Dinner?
Yes, you will need to provide either the food or a gift card. You will decide which after a discussion with the family.
5. When and how should I contact the family I’ve adopted?
Please reach out to your adopted family immediately after being matched with the family as they are eager to hear from you (no later than one week after receiving your information). Please discuss toys/gifts on the wish lists you have received and discuss options for a Christmas meal/gift card to a grocery store for the meal. You can then make contact again to confirm delivery time/date when you are ready to deliver gifts and the holiday meal/food gift card.
6. What if I am unable to reach them?
If you have been unsuccessful in reaching the family after several attempts, please call Holly Hosinski at 574-234-6000 ext 126 or email her at email@example.com and we will research alternate plans to contact the family.
7. What should I provide for Christmas Dinner?
Communicate with the family to decide if you will provide food or a gift card for the family to grocery shop themselves. You can provide a traditional holiday meal or work with the family to consider items that are special to their specific family traditions. The amount spent depends on the family size, but an average family of 4 would usually receive $30-40 worth of food/gift card.
8. When should the toys, gifts and food be delivered to the family I have adopted?
We suggest that you discuss the delivery of gifts with the family. We suggest delivery no later than 1 week before Christmas to resolve any unexpected issues that may arise.
9. Is it okay to give gift cards to the family?
We do not recommend gift cards for children’s gifts. Gift cards are appropriate for purchase of the holiday meal. Also, if an adopter decides to purchase token items for older teens/adults, a token amount on a gift card can be appropriate.
10. Do I wrap the gifts I purchase?
Please discuss this with the parent or guardian of your family. If they prefer to have them unwrapped, you could offer to provide the gift wrap for them.