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West Side Cares Adopt-A-Family

Adopt-A-Family 2023 – Adopter Information

How the program works: Westside CARES works directly with the school counselors of 16 west side elementary schools.  Each counselor is invited to submit families in need of assistance this holiday season.  The counselors fill out a family information sheet on each family listing the names of the parents and children in the household and return it to us.  It’s not unusual for these families to have extended family living with them and our program is designed to help them as well. They also list the gender and age of each child and provide a phone number and email address (if available) for each family.   Sometimes the counselors will alert us to special circumstances such as a terminal illness in the family, language barriers, etc. 

Once we receive the paperwork, Westside CARES volunteers contact the parents from each family to make sure they understand and are comfortable participating in the program and then verify information listed on the sheet.  They also alert them to the fact that they will be contacted directly by their adopter.  We will also provide the family contact with your first name to they know you are part of this program.Once verified, a Westside CARES staff person reviews the list of interested adopters and matches a family with each of them.   

The adopter is then contacted with the family information. 

Adopter Responsibilities:

  • As the adopter you are responsible for contacting the family. Please introduce yourself as being part of the Westside CARES Adopt-a-Family program.  To provide a more dignified experience for parents participating in the Adopt-a-Family program, we are asking adopters to purchase gift cards only.  Adding a small, festive gift is fine but we ask that you provide the parents with the dignity of doing their own shopping. Discuss with the parent whether they would prefer gift cards to specific stores if they would rather receive a more generic gift card like VISA. 
  • It is also your responsibility to coordinate a time to drop the gift cards to the family.  Please, respect the parent’s preference as to the delivery of your gift, whether at a neutral site, at their home, or through the mail and be sensitive to the privacy of the family and to the fact that it may be difficult for them to be receiving assistance.  Please give with an open mind, an open heart, and for the sheer pleasure of touching another’s life.​​​​​​​

Once matched with a family, please contact the parents right away to assure them that they have been adopted, to discuss possible ways in which you can supplement their holiday festivities, and to plan delivery of your gift cards.  This is very important.  Parents are often anxious about being able to provide gifts for their children.  Knowing you are there to help will lessen their anxiety considerably.

Sat, December 9 2023 26 Kislev 5784