Gift cards on wish list for Adopt-a-Family programs

Dec 13, 2010

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, local non-profits want to make sure needy families are on your list.  Several charities are collecting toys and clothes for people who can’t afford presents, but a few Adopt-a-Family programs ask donors to give something more than stuff. 

Local charities say more families need help than ever this holiday season.  What’s especially troubling to people like Indiigo Klyne, manager of the Adopt-a-Family program for Solid Ground, is who needs a hand.


“I had a family who actually was a contributor to Adopt-a-Family as sponsors many years ago," Klyne says.  And via some very unfortunate circumstances, they lost everything.”

That not only meant their belongings, but their ability to be even the slightest bit choosy about replacements, let alone presents for the holidays.   

“Many of us don’t recognize as a privilege the ability to go into a store, to select an item for your child or someone you care about, to bring it home, wrap it up and present it to your loved one," Klyne says.  "Many or our families haven’t had that opportunity for a very long time.”

Klyne says most families in need of being “adopted” also can’t afford to get stuff they don’t want.  A lot of them live in shelters or places just big enough for the bare necessities. 

So a few years ago, the staff of Solid Ground came up with a way to let families pick out presents that fit their situations just right.  It asks donors to give $25 gift cards to each member of the family, preferably from stores that sell food, clothes and toys. 

Klyne says the new concept benefits everyone participating in the program. 

“There are people who wanted to be involved in donating but felt very intimidated by not being able to meet the needs of those families," Klyne says. "And there are also people who are extremely busy who don’t have the time to go out and shop for a family."

For those attached to picking out presents, Solid Ground and many other organizations also accept gifts based on wish lists from the families.