Adopt-A-Family seeks donors to help provide holiday giftsPresents will go to Delaware’s children and seniors in need
In Delaware, the Human Services Council Inc., in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Services, is seeking individuals, businesses and organizations to help provide holiday gifts for thousands of the state’s children and seniors living in poverty or in low-income households.
Each holiday season, donors are anonymously matched to a senior or a family with one or more children through the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program. Adopt-A-Family provides the donor with the age and gender of each child in the family and a brief description of the circumstances that led to their need for assistance. The donor then provides gift cards or certificates for the head of household to use in buying holiday gifts. The recommended gift is $100 to $125 per child, with a gift certificate for the parent optional but thoughtful.
Adopt-A-Family is a Delaware tradition of neighbors helping neighbors,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “I offer my profound gratitude to those who provide a holiday to children, families and seniors who would otherwise go without one. Adopt-A-Family showcases the best of our community and the best of the holiday spirit."
“Across the state, we know the generous spirit of Delawareans,” said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “During these challenging economic times, please consider donating a gift card or gift certificate to help children, families or seniors experience a happier holiday season."
“The beauty of this program is that it is built on the ethic of reciprocity,” said Dr. Anne Farley, director of the Division of State Service Centers, which oversees the Adopt-A-Family program. “Adopt-A-Family pairs individuals who are facing difficult times with someone else in the community who is able to share and willing to give. The program cultivates the ethic of giving back and of sharing, which at its core is the strength of us as a people and as a community.”
In 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 16 percent of Delawareans lived below the poverty line. In January 2012, more than 152,000 Delawareans qualified for food stamps, and more than 210,000 people are on Medicaid. Delaware’s unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in September.
“As the economy continues to recover, we find the need is still great for our Holiday Adopt-A-Family program,” Farley said. “That’s why we rely on the generosity of individuals, businesses and organizations to volunteer or to donate by adopting a family or an elderly person.”
To adopt an individual or family in Kent and Sussex counties, contact the Kent and Sussex Adopt-A-Family at 302-424-7260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The deadline to adopt a family is Monday, Dec. 10, and all gift cards and gifts must be delivered to the Adopt-A-Family Office by Monday, Dec. 17. Families who are adopted come to each location to receive their gifts.
Beyond the Holiday Adopt-A-Family, other programs offered in Kent and Sussex counties include a program providing household and hygiene items for families; Adopt-A-Mom, which provides baby care products like diapers and clothing for children up to 24 months; and Adopt-A-Student, which offers school supplies and gift cards for student uniforms.
For these programs, Adopt-A-Family accepts financial and in-kind donations. Checks can be made payable to Adopt-A-Family (Kent and Sussex counties), 13 SW Front St., Milford, DE 19963.
For more information about Adopt-A-Family, go to dhss.delaware.gov or contact the nearest state service center.