Adopt a Family for Christmas

We are excited to announce that our drive is underway and adoptions for our 2017 drive are now open! Click here to make your selection. 

Now in our fifth year, this family-friendly holiday drive helps clothe the women and children residents of Alameda’s Midway Shelter, their safe house, and the San Leandro Shelter with new, cozy jammies, socks, and underthings to open on Christmas Day.

This year’s party culminating the drive will be held on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 in the early evening.

For the past four years coordinating this event, my heart has been filled with gratitude for the  generosity givers have shown. The response has been overwhelming and we appreciate that many people return each year to help, making this a wonderful local family tradition. Last year, we were able to adopt more than 199 people, as well as raise an additional $1,400 for use by the Building Futures for Women and Children team to support shelter residents. In both 2014 and 2015, we adopted 115 people and raised $1,100 each year. This was nearly a 100% increase from the first year’s 60 families adopted and over $500 raised back in 2013.

Organizing such a personalized giving campaign requires managing some logistics. But, we’ve worked hard to keep things simple for our generous givers. This page includes a list of common questions we’ve received about the campaign so that you get answers quickly.

If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please be in touch and we will respond personally.

Adoptions are now open – click here to make your selection. 

FAQs

Who receives my gift?

The gifts are provided to the residents of three local facilities that support victims of domestic violence: Midway Shelter and its accompanying safe house, as well as the San Leandro Shelter. Some residents are single women, while some are single moms with between one and three children each, ranging in the age from six months up to teenagers. The Shelter’s safe house is a place for moms who are back in the workforce, further along in their transition than the Shelter residents.

I decided to make this a personalized giving campaign, which means that we have set up a way for you to adopt a specific family, get their size, age, and gender information, and provide your gifts to support that specific family. For the purposes of confidentiality to protect the residents, family names have been fictionalized, but your contribution does go to the family you select.

What is the deadline for donating / purchasing and dropping off gifts?

The deadline to make your financial contribution is Monday, December 4th at 5pm. The deadline to bring your purchase to the drop-off is Wednesday, December 6th at 7:30pm at the party location in Alameda, CA.

Where and when do I drop off my purchases?

Our preferred method is for you to come to the party on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 in Alameda.  People who sign up to donate will be given the specific drop off location information.

If you cannot bring your donations to the party, you can drop them off by Monday, December 4th at 5pm at our business office at 1516 Oak Street, #328 in Alameda.  We are located in the building directly next door to the Main Library. Street parking and the movie cineplex’s parking garage are close by.  The building’s front door is open between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday and if no one is in you can leave your purchases, MARKED WITH YOUR NAME AND THE FAMILY’S NAME, in a bag by the office door. If the door is open, please come in.

How do I donate money if I don’t want to do the shopping myself?

There are two ways: the preferred way is through SignupGenius. For the slot you selected, you can pay with your credit card or PayPal. The recommended amount is $20 per family member who you are adopting. The alternative is to write a check to Midway Shelter, and drop it by our office at 1516 Oak Street, #328 (next to main library), between the hours of 8am-5pm M-F. You must drop off or make your financial donation by Monday, December 4th at 5pm. The link to donate via PayPal will be available shortly.

If I am doing the shopping myself, what do I buy?

For the moms: pajamas or sweat shirts/pants, plus underwear and socks. For the kids, pajamas, underwear, and socks. If you want to also include toys or other cozy clothing, that is fine too. We have a separate selection for each family so that you may choose to donate slippers instead.  If you would like to donate jammies AND slippers, please be sure to select and sign up for both items.  All items must be new.

Can I wrap the gifts?

The Shelter has asked us NOT to wrap the gifts. They have volunteers, civic groups, and staff who take great joy in contributing to the giving effort by wrapping all the gifts. Also, sometimes there is a need to make a few substitutions, so being able to see what is being provided is very helpful to the Shelter staff. Thank you for your understanding.

Please do bring your gifts in one bag (if possible), with a tag or note on it that includes your name and the name (pseudonym) of your adopted family, so we can make sure that your contributions get to your intended recipients. If your gifts are in multiple bags, please make sure they are all marked with names.

You can make a card for the family, just leave their name off it because the name you have is not their true name. We will also have a spot for your kids to make cards at the party on the December 6th.

How do I label my gifts so that they get to the right person?

Put your name and your adopted family’s name on the bag or on a note securely fastened to your bag.

If I want to make a card for my family, who should I address it to?

You can make a card with no “to” on it. We are actually going to have an activity for the children who attend the party on Dec. 6th to make cards to go with the packages. Please do not use the fictionalized name on your card as that is not something the actual family will recognize. Just put your card with your gifts and they will get to the right family.

Can I include other things such as new toys in my gift?

Yes, the shelter welcomes your additional gifts. They will provide us with a toy bin to collect general toy contributions (not specific for your adopted family), and you can also put in toys for your specific adopted family if you wish. Toys must be new and unwrapped. If you want the toys you buy to go to your adopted family, put them in the bag with the jammies.

Tell me about the holiday party on Dec. 6th – can I bring my kids?

Yes! People who sign up to donate will get a special Paperless Post with all of the party details. The holiday party will be a time to celebrate the giving experience. It’s a great time for our kids to come together to bring the presents, give them to the Shelter employees who will be taking them back to distribute to the Shelter’s residents, and to have some holiday fun doing some craft projects, eating yummy treats, and enjoying some entertainment. The Shelter’s leadership will be there to tell us how our contributions help the Shelter’s residents start the next, happier chapter of their lives. My children will be there (8 and 9-year-olds), and I hope you’ll bring yours, too. Jammie attire encouraged (we’ll be wearing ours).  You can stop by for a few minutes or stay the whole time. Light refreshments and desserts will be provided.

Entertainment will be provided by the talented Barefoot Quales family band who will regale us again with their delightful folk music. We have also confirmed that professional illusionist and circus entertainer, Calvin Kai Ku will perform. You won’t want to miss it.

I want to be involved but haven’t adopted my family yet. How do I get started?

Adoptions are now open! Click here to make your selection.

I reached out to say I’m interested and have not received my login to SignupGenius.

Adoptions are now open! Click here to make your selection.

I adopted a family in SignupGenius but haven’t received an invite to the party.

The invite will come to you via Paperless Post sometime after you donate and before December 4th.

I haven’t adopted a family and wish to make a general monetary donation to be used for whatever still needs to be purchased.

The link is actually on the SignupGenius site. If you can’t figure it out, please be in touch and we will assist. When you go to the  site, and scroll down to the sign up section, the first option is for a monetary donation. Click sign up and you’ll be taken to another screen where you can input your donation amount.  

I am not on the notification list for this event and would like to be. How do I get on it?

Fill out the form below to be added to the list.

Do you need any additional help?

Yes! We certainly could use some help with various aspects of this event. If you are interested in helping out by bringing food to the party, organizing a craft or helping with additional shopping required for the families that are choosing to donate money, please be in touch.

Warmly,

Merideth

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