Adopt a Family for Christmas 2021

We still have many families waiting to be adopted this year. Thank you for joining to help make this a happier Christmas season!

Whether newly arrived in the country or living here for several years, life in the U.S. for our immigrant neighbors can be full of challenges as well as hope. The pandemic added another layer of adversity for many of us, and it has affected the immigrant families at St. Francis especially hard. Staff have nominated over 250 families and seniors this year who are actively involved in our programs and need the sense of connection and support that you can offer through the Adopt a Family for Christmas program!

We have decided to embrace the “new normal” that our families told us best allows them to meet the needs of the people in their households.  This means that if you choose to participate in St. Francis’ Adopt a Family program, we are asking you to purchase gift cards for the family.  If you fill out the registration form, in November you will receive a description of a local immigrant family in their own (translated) words, sharing about who they are and how this past year has been for them, along with some guidance about what types of gift cards would be most helpful and drop-off instructions for December.  We ask that you buy each member of the family at least one gift card as well as provide a gift card for the household so they can buy important household supplies and/or food.

Do You Have Questions?

We have the answers! If you have a question that’s not answered below, please email Meredith at:

Why gift cards? Can I shop for presents for my adopted family? 

Most of the families in our programs indicated that when we shifted to gift cards last year, they not only felt safer, but they appreciated having the ability to make purchases according to their knowledge of their own individual situations.  They could make choices that allowed them to do things like restock their fridge with food their family likes best; try on and buy clothes that fit and match their wardrobe needs; and shop for just the right toys for their children for Christmas.

However, we know that many of you—and our St. Francis families—missed the personal touch from years past.  This year, instructions will include the option to purchase a small item like a Christmas ornament and the encouragement to personalize the packaging of the gift cards to so we can all better feel the spirit of connection during the holiday season!

How much should my gift card be for?

We ask that for each adopted family, you purchase at least one gift card per person at a minimum of $25 each and also at least one additional gift card for the family at a minimum of $50 so they can purchase general household items. You may certainly choose to spend more per person and/or on the household–especially for a larger household. In fact, if you have participated in our program in the past and purchased gifts, you know that feeling of looking in your cart and saying, “I’d like to give more!” You can do that with gift cards, too!

How do I choose a family size?

Keep in mind the minimum suggested donated gift card per person and family then consider your budget. You can also think of what your gift cards translate into in terms of purchasing power.  Picture what your shopping cart might look like if you were buying actual gifts for the family, then buy enough gift cards to match your vision.

Can I adopt more than one family?

Absolutely!!! Please fill out a separate registration form for each family you would like to adopt. Just click “Submit another response” on the sign-up form.

What if I can’t adopt a whole family, but I still want to help?

We know that many of our donors give sacrificially, especially in year two of a pandemic.  If you would like to purchase a gift card of any amount to go toward a family, please fill out the registration form and choose the option on the electronic registration form that says “The best way for me to help this year is to purchase a gift card but not adopt a whole family.” You can also help us by spreading the word about the program and the wonderful families that participate.

Can I send a donation and have you do the shopping?

We would be happy to purchase the gift cards for a family on your behalf.  You may send us a check or donate online here (**please choose the Southside Center fund, and put a note that it is for the Adopt A Family program at the bottom of the form).

How are families nominated for your Adopt a Family for Christmas program?

Each family is nominated by a St. Francis staff member who has worked closely with them and knows their situation well. Nominated families must meet income qualifications and are prioritized by considering their access to resources.

I submitted my electronic form.  When will I receive information on my adopted family?

Thank you so much for signing up! We are working to gather and translate all the information from our nominated families so we can send it to you within 1-2 business days of receiving your registration information. With over 250 families nominated, staff are working hard to ensure our normal, quality programming is being delivered while also handling these additional responsibilities.

When and how will I give you all these gift cards?

When we send you the description of your adopted family, we will also send you detailed information about how it will all happen. We are aiming for December 14th to as the last date we receive gift cards so that the families have enough time to pick up gift cards and do their shopping.