For Christians, the season of Advent is one of waiting, preparation and hope. We wait for the coming of the Lord. We prepare through prayer and sacrifice. And we hope to share in God’s glory and grace. Families also wait and hope and prepare for Christmas on another level too, by shopping for presents and giving them to special individuals in their lives. Unfortunately, because of illness, disability or financial hardship, many people in our area find it hard to hope.
We at St. John’s can do something to help. The Adopt-A-Family Outreach Ministry gives us the opportunity to restore their hope and help these families enjoy their Christmas Season.
Each year, approximately 50 families are screened and referred by area organizations such as the
St. Vincent de Paul Society, Nether Providence Elementary School, and the Hispanic Ministry. So far, we have been able to adopt everyone who has been referred to us.
Who adopts the families
? Over 80 donors contribute each year. Many are individuals or families. Some are larger groups such as St. John’s staff, members of our parish music ministries, members of Faith Sharing Groups, and the Justice and Peace Committee. If you are not able to be a donor or shopper, perhaps consider joining us as a sorter, helping to check in and sort the gifts for delivery to the families.
How much do you spend? That’s up to the donor, but keep in mind that these gifts are often the only ones each family receives. And, of course, all the children in each family should be treated equitably. If buying and wrapping is not your thing, gift cards are appreciated. We try to give each family a gift basket and/or a gift card to a local supermarket or big box store.
Donors are usually notified about their family’s details during Thanksgiving week. We try to give you the name, age, size, gender, race (for dolls) and gift suggestions for each family member. Donors then buy and wrap the gifts and bring them to the Stevenson Center on the second Saturday in December. The sorters check in and sort the gifts. This gives the area organizations time to deliver the gifts to the families in time for Christmas.