[title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]Adopter Tip Sheet[/title]

Thank you for adopting a family in need from Touch A Heart Foundation!

This tip sheet will provide you with important suggestions to make your involvement in the Adopt-A-Family holiday program more enjoyable.

If you have any questions or suggestions, email us at adoptions@touchaheartfoundation.org Once you have been matched up with a family, you will be sent a profile which includes the family

name, contact number and your family’s caseworker information.

1) Contact your adopted family or the caseworker to notify them of the good news – they will be anxious to hear from you! If calling the family directly, use *67 on your phone when dialing so you can contact them without giving out your phone number. Ask for the head of household by name and identify yourself as an adopter with Touch A Heart’s Adopt-A-Family program. Please notify us to confirm you have contacted your family/caseworker and have set up visitation.

2) Ask for a specific list of necessities if not included in the profile. Some or all of the wishes may be necessities like socks, towels, blankets etc. We try to purchase these necessities and at least one “wish gift” for each child and parent/guardian. For many families, these may be the only things they receive, so they might prefer to open the majority of the gifts at home on Hanukkah or Christmas Day. If you are providing gift certificates, confirm what grocery or retail store is nearest to them (Publix, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc.)

3) Please purchase a holiday meal gift card for the family. Or you may bring a meal or food basket. If you are providing a pre-cooked meal, ask the family if there is anything they do not eat (due to allergies, preferences, etc.). If you are providing a food basket, ask the family if they have means to cook the items you are providing (ex: stove/oven to cook with.)

4) Confirm their religious holiday celebration (i.e. Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.) Consider bringing a Christmas tree, menorah or other holiday decorations for the family if they do not already have these items.

5) Schedule a date and time of visit/delivery. Try to do this a few weeks before the holidays, as it is a very busy time for everyone. Always get specific directions.

FOR HOME VISITS: It is best to plan visits in daylight hours. Remember that families have work and school schedules. Sometimes their sole means of transportation is by bus. Please try to be accommodating. Guide them with a couple of choices as to when you may be able to visit. Be sure to confirm and reconfirm the delivery/visit in advance, the day prior, and even on your way to make sure that there is no confusion.

FOR AGENCY VISITS: Please call your contact/caseworker at the agency to find out the specific date, time and location of their holiday gift deliveries.

SOME FUN & ALTERNATIVE IDEAS FOR YOUR VISIT: Instead of the family’s home, arrange to meet at a family-friendly public place like the zoo or holiday festival or a park and have a picnic. Invite them to dinner or lunch at a restaurant, the movies or for ice-cream. Dress up as Santa Claus and Elves when you deliver the presents. If your company is adopting a family, throw a party at your company. (If you invite them to go out somewhere understand that they may not be able to afford certain activities and plan to pay for them.)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE ITEMS DELIVERED TO YOUR FAMILY ANONYMOUSLY, set up a drop-off date to meet their caseworker and they will arrange to get the items to the family. As mentioned, the holidays are a busy time for everyone – including caseworkers – so please do this well in advance of the holidays.

Additional Things to Keep In Mind:

  • The family you have adopted may not have a car. If you meeting them somewhere other than their home or agency, it would be wonderful to arrange for the family’s transportation – taking a bus could be inconvenient, since they will be returning home with gifts.
  • In order to make the visit the most rewarding experience for both your family and your “adopted family”, please greet your family with cheer and enthusiasm.
  • Remind your children to make conversation by introducing themselves, and telling them their age, grade, hobbies, etc.
  • Both your children and your adopted family will be more comfortable if you bring an age appropriate game to play, cookies to eat, a book to read, or coloring books, etc. If appropriate, your kids may want to bring a football or soccer ball as most of these children do not even have this luxury at home. Use your imagination and have fun!
  • Be prepared for homes that may be unkempt. Most have very little furniture. Many share beds with siblings or even sometimes sleep on the floors because they don’t have enough beds. Even though these families are all lower-income, don’t be surprised if they own large TVs or electronic games due to previous donations.
  • If you ever feel uncomfortable about a situation or request your adopted family has made, please contact the caseworker or Touch A Heart Foundation directly.Please note that we are seeking volunteers who are willing to shop, wrap and/or deliver gifts to our “adopted” families and daycare centers. We will be more than happy to give those of you with high school age children community service hours for volunteering.

    Touch A Heart Foundation has been facilitating the Adopt-A-Family holiday program since 2004. Year-after-year our generous volunteers tell us that this is the most rewarding experience they have ever had. We hope you feel the same. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,

    Jennifer Kaufman, Executive Director
    and all of the children and families who will benefit from your generosity!