Christmas Program Sign Up Information

Monday October 29 - Thursday November 1st, 2018

10am - 2pm

SVDP Center, 520 Crescent Avenue, South Bend

Identification Requirements:

  • Photo ID for all adults in the home (18 or older)

  • Social Security Cards for all adults in the home

  • Proof of address needed for parent/custodial parent/guardian

  • Birth Certificate and Social Security Card needed for all children in the home (ages 0-17)

  • Custodial documents are required for all non-parent guardian



Please note this program is only for families with children.  We are not accepting food only applications this year.

How you can help!


We are extremely grateful for your response to our plea for adoptions.  Due to the overwhelming support of the community we have filled our adoption quota for 2018.  If you would still like to support our Christmas Program this year, you can help by making a contribution to help cover the expenses of the Christmas Program.  To do so, click "Make a contribution" in the Donate section below.  If for some reason you do not wish to donate or even if you do, check back on our website in September-October 2019 to adopt for next year.



To volunteer, please contact Aubrey Howell at 574-234-6000 x 104 or



If you are unable to adopt a family but would still like to help, consider making a donation to the Society by clicking below.

Make a contribution!

Answers to FAQs

1. What kinds of gifts are suggested? 
​Those adopting a family receive a “wish list” from the family.  We suggest one “large” gift (a $25 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 12, what if there are children in the family over the age of 12?
​What you do for children over 12 is solely up to you.  Make a decision based on what you feel you are able to do for the family.  Some adopters provide small gifts for older children in the home and some consider a higher age at which they will limit gift giving. These are personal choices.  We do not want to limit the generosity of those who are able and willing to do more, but we also do not want adopting families to feel an obligation to do more than what the Toys for Tots program guidelines require.
3. Do I need to buy gifts for adults in the home?
Some adopters choose to give small gifts to adults in the family they adopt.  Some adopters give personal care items (laundry soap, cleaning supplies, etc. - things that are not covered by food stamps).  Other suggested items are a box of fruit, a box of candy, sweatshirt, family blanket, etc. However, there is no obligation to do so.
4. Do I need to provide Christmas Dinner?
​Yes you do, 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?
We suggest that you contact the family you have adopted as soon as possible. You should speak with them at least three times during the Pre-Christmas season. The first contact should be immediately after being matched with the family. This is important because they are notified of the adoption and are eager hear from you. Introduce yourself and discuss the wish list to clarify the gifts requested. A second contact should be made 1 - 3 weeks later.  This is to discuss Christmas Dinner and to arrange a drop off date for their gifts. The final contact should be made 2 – 3 days prior to the delivery date to confirm with the family that they will be home and able to accept the delivery. These are guidelines for timing. 

6. What if I am unable to reach them?
If you are unable to make contact with the family after several attempts to do so, you will need to contact St. Vincent de Paul, 234-6000 ext. 12110.  We will do some research to find alternate means of reaching the family.

7. What should I provide for Christmas Dinner?
You and the family will decide if you will be shopping for food items or if you will give them a gift card to let them grocery shop.  If you are to do the shopping, ask the adopted family if there are special dietary needs. If there are none, suggested basics are: turkey or ham, potatoes, stuffing, green beans, etc. Some families have other things they consider “tradition”, so please ask them so you can find what they like and do not like. The suggested amount to spend on dinner is approximately $25-30. Some adopters like to provide food for Christmas morning as well. Again, this is totally up to the adopter.   

8. When should the toys, gifts and food be delivered to the family I have adopted?
We suggest that you discuss that with the family.  However, we do suggest delivering the items to the adopted family by December 12. This is simply to allow more time to resolve any problems that may arise. 

9. Is it okay to give gift cards to the family?
We do not recommend the use of gift cards for children’s gifts. Gift cards could be used for teens, adults and the Christmas Dinner. We do suggest that you attach gift receipts to the gift items you purchase in case an exchange needs to be made.

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.

11. What about "extras" for the family?
Providing a blanket or "stocking stuffers" would be a nice gesture, but purely optional.  Some adopters enjoy spending time with the family when they deliver the gifts.  If you would enjoy that, and wish to make dropping off the gifts something more personal, simply ask the family if they are open to that.  Some families might be uncomfortable with spending a longer time with the adopters.​

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St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County

520 Crescent Avenue

South Bend, IN 46617


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