Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adopt a Family For the Holidays

By supporting Families in need you can help prevent unnecessary family loss and separation. Poverty is the number cause of adoptions today worldwide. It outweighs all other cuases - i.e. abuse, neglect - combined.

A sampling of programs:

St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati Council has one of the most established networks. Each sponsor is provided with a Christmas wish list for a family. Lists frequently include toys that children have asked Santa for and basic household items and toiletries. The list also is likely to contain clothing sizes for the children and adults in the household because the families are in need of the most basic items, such as shoes and sweaters. The agency asks that a new outfit be provided to each family member.

The agency provides sponsors a guide on how much to spend, ranking from $150-$200 for a family of two to $350-$450 for a family with five or more members.

Some potential sponsors are unable to shop, but they can still help. St. Vincent de Paul recommends that a gift card can be purchased to a big-box retailer and then donated to the agency. Its staff will make sure the card gets into the hands of the head-of-household.

If sponsors do shop, they have the option of dropping off items at the St. Vincent de Paul headquarters, 1125 Bank St., West End, and volunteers will take the clothing and toys to the family. In recent years, sponsors have wanted to deliver to gifts themselves to their adoptive family, an option the agency makes available.

To adopt a family, contact LaMonica Sherman at St. Vincent de Paul, 513-562-8841, ext. 237, or at Please include your name, company or school name (if an organizational donation), phone and fax numbers, address and email address. The agency will respond with a letter, list and complete instructions.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky will accept financial donations, which it will pool and purchase gifts for needy families. The agency also has a direct holiday adoption program that gives sponsors much the same options as its Ohio counterpart: direct delivery to the adoptive family or anonymous delivery that is handled by agency volunteers.

Cash donations can be send to: SVDP - NKY, Attn: Executive Director, 2655 Crescent Springs Road, Covington, Ky., 41017. Secure donations may be made Online at

To adopt a family, contact Joyce Hudson at 859-341-3212, ext. 2, or email at

Lighthouse Youth Services' Happy Holidays program provides gifts to 2,000 of the communities' most vulnerable and forgotten youths - homeless teens or the 550 teenagers in foster care, group homes or older youth living independently. The list also includes 18 year olds just dropped from foster care at age 18.

The agency offers four ways to participate: People or groups can sponsor a struggling family unable to provide gifts for their children, donors can set up a "Giving Tree" in their office or club with need ornaments provided by the agency, they can make a cash, check or credit card donation, or they can buy items from the Top-10 Wish List to meet the needs of the 200 new clients who come to Lighthouse each December, they can Contact Andrea Granieri at 513-475-5674 or to participate.

For 20 years, the organization For AIDS Children Everywhere (FACE) has brought light into one of the darkest corners of the community - to children and parents affected or infected by HIV or AIDS. Beyond its summer trips and food and toy pantry in its Holmes Hospital office space, FACE reaches children through its annual holiday adoption program.

Sponsors will be matched with children who either have AIDS or are HIV-positive or have a parent in that condition. Donors will be asked to buy a new outfit of clothing and two new gifts for each child in the family. FACE will provide that ages and sizes and interests of the children. Organizers ask that donated gifts and clothing be brought unwrapped but marked with the provided child identification number to the FACE office before Dec. 10.

For adoption forms, call 513-584-3571 or go to

Brighton Center provided gifts and food to 834 needy Northern Kentucky families with 2,192 members in 2010 and is again looking for community support to meet an even greater demand. All families are connected to the Newport-based center through one or more of its 38 programs that strive to help families reach self-sufficiency.

Interested sponsors and donors are asked to contact M. Beth Hodge, Brighton Center's donation and volunteer manager, before Dec. 2 so they can be matched with an appropriate family. She can be reached at 859-491-8303, ext. 2331 or at

In addition to its holiday food giveaways and other anti-hunger programs connected to the holidays, the Freestore Foodbank is offering donors and sponsors an "Adopt-a-Family" program this year. Donors will be given the names, clothing and shoe sizes and children's wish lists. Contact Lisa Snorton at 513-357-4815 or

The local Salvation Army has a list of 500 families and senior citizens in Hamilton County that are available for holiday adoption. The agency receives referrals from its own social workers at its community centers as well as from partner agencies.

People who adopt a family or senior are provided with information about the family or individual and asked to purchase gifts, wrap them and bring them to a distribution center, where families pick them up. Seniors' gifts are delivered.

For information, go to, or call Deanna Powell at 513-762-5600 or

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