Supporting Christmas Charity Drives

Editor’s note: Many people are suffering this year, but I do not supply charity groups with lists of people who need help. I also don’t adopt families directly through this blog. If you need help, please contact a local church or your county social services department. I have disabled comments because too many people were posting personal information about their need for help. This is not a safe forum for posting personal details.

After my aunt passed away nearly a decade ago, another aunt started a tradition of adopting a needy family in her honor every Christmas. The deceased aunt was very big on charitable giving, so an annual Christmas charity donation was a perfect fit.

It’s very easy to find families to help, but it can be expensive for one small family to adopt another family. If you pool your resources among your extended family or a group of friends, you can give much more without hurting your budget. For example, each adult in my extended family donates $10. Either my aunt or my cousin contacts her local church’s or county’s charity drive to tell them how much we have to give. The services matches us with a needy family and sends a wish list. She collects the money, buys the gifts the family wants, and delivers them to the charity. There are currently 15 adults in my family, so that’s $150.

For several years, we adopted the same family with a child suffering from a severe disability. Later we found out we actually had a personal connection to that family, which made the annual gifts all the more meaningful.

This year, my immediate family is adding another adopted family to the mix. We normally spend Christmas Day with family friends. Rather than exchange gifts none of us need, my mom suggested we adopt a family as a group. We have 11-13 people donating $10 each. My mom and their mom will go shopping together to buy the requested items and deliver them to a charity group they work with.

So, for a total of $20, I’m helping give two families a much merrier Christmas. I certainly don’t need whatever I would have received for that token amount, and I feel better knowing it went to someone who really does need it.

If you and your friends or relatives want to adopt a family, simply contact your local church, family support groups, city, or county to ask about their “Adopt-a-Family” program. You can also just Google your city and “adopt a family” or your city and “Christmas charity.”

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