Adopt-a-Family is Child & Family Services’ annual holiday program, providing families receiving our services with holiday gifts. Last year, over 500 individuals from 120 families were adopted, and we hope to make 2011 even bigger!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Does Adopt-a-Family Work?

The first step is to register. You will be asked to specify the total number of families you would like to ‘adopt’, as well as how many people per family you would like. After you register, you’ll be matched with a family, and will receive wish lists that include some background information about the family, ages, sizes, and gift suggestions. You will also be notified when your drop-off date is.

All gifts must be delivered UNWRAPPED and LABELED with the family member’s name to 844 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209, between 9:00am and 4:00pm on your scheduled drop-off day during the week of December 12th – 16th. Due to client confidentiality policies, Child & Family Services’ staff will then deliver the gifts to the recipients in time for the holidays.

2. Why must the gifts be unwrapped?

We are obligated to ensure safety for our clients. Therefore, we must confirm that all gifts are safe for the age and background of each child. For example, a Nerf Gun may seem like a great gift for a young boy, but for a child who has experienced family violence, it may be retraumatizing.

3. How are gift recipients chosen?

How do I know they are really in need of assistance?

All Adopt-a-Family recipients are current participants of our 30+ human service programs, and have been referred by a Child & Family Services’ caseworker. Our staff knows each recipient on a personal level and is aware of their financial situation.

4. How much does it cost to participate in Adopt-a-Family?

We do not set any strict giving guidelines for donors. You can participate at any level you are comfortable with. It is best to determine how much you are willing to spend before you register, and then decide how many people that will provide for. It may be better to spend more on a smaller family than less on a larger one. Past donors suggest that it costs approximately $50 - $75 per person.

5. What if I can’t make my drop-off date?

Please contact Erica Schmidt at (716) 335-7027 if you need to make alternate drop-off arrangements.

6. Can I meet the family I am sponsoring?

No. Due to confidentiality restrictions, we are unable to allow you to meet with families.

7. I can’t adopt a family, how else can I help?

We always welcome gift items, such as gift certificates, or monetary donations to cover the costs of wrapping supplies.

8. How does Adopt-a-Family work with large groups, like corporations, church groups, and schools?

There are many different ways to roll out Adopt-A-Family with bigger groups.

  • Put ornament tags, with gifts from each family member’s wish list, on a tree or bulletin board. Those who wish to donate can take a tag, purchase the gift listed on the tag, and bring it to your organization’s coordinator by a set date.
  • Ask everyone in your group for financial donations, then go out shopping for the gifts on your family’s wish list. It is a good idea to set a goal and start fundraising early!
  • In addition to simply asking people to write a check or contribute cash, you can also organize a simple fundraising event. This could be a bake sale, dress down day, raffle, ice cream social, or pancake breakfast. The options are endless!
  • If your organization is divided into classes/teams, make it a contest to see who can collect the most donations; make sure you have a great prize lined up for the winner!
  • You can also feel free to call Erica Schmidt, Program Coordinator, at (716) 335-7027 for more ideas!