2015 Adopt A Family Program

46th Annual Adopt A Family Program

December 14-17, 2015
OC Fair & Event Center
Gate 4 off Arlington

Since its inception, SOS has been linking generous community members with families in need of extra support during the holidays. This holiday season marks the 46th year of the Share Our Selves annual Adopt A Family Program. This wonderful holiday tradition supports many struggling Orange County families by providing gifts and food for the holidays. This year, the Adopt A Family Program will connect donors with more than 1,200 families with children recommended by Costa Mesa and Santa Ana organizations and schools. The event will take place at the OC Fair & Event Center from December 14-17, 2015.

Ways to Participate:

  • Provide at least two new gifts for every child AND food (or grocery gift cards) for a complete dinner for the entire family
  • OR provide only new gifts (at least two) for each child in the family
  • OR conduct a toy drive or bring extra toys/gifts on December 14th between 10:00am and 2:00pm or between 8:00am and 12:00pm on December 15th
  • OR conduct a food drive, or bring extra food and grocery gift cards on December 14th between 10:00am and 2:00pm or between 8:00am and 12:00pm on December 15th (no perishables please)
  • OR volunteer on December 15th, 16th or 17th (see our FAQs below for more information)
  • OR help with deliveries using your van or truck on December 17th
  • OR make a donation for SOS Adopt A Family to purchase gifts, food or gift cards

Companies, schools, and religious institutions are asked to consider adopting multiple families or holding food, toy or gift card drives to help SOS with the families that do not get adopted by a specific donor.

Please join the hundreds of families and organizations that make Adopt A Family a part of their holiday traditions. download the Donor Sign-Up Form. You will receive information about your family after November 12th.

For more information, email AAF2015@shareourselves.org or call 949.270.2187.

Adopt A Family FAQs (Download complete list here)

Will we get to meet our adopted family?

In order to preserve their anonymity and dignity, you will not be able to meet your adopted family. However, know that your gifts are very much appreciated. We will send an email after the event with thank-yous we have received from the families so that you can hear in their words how much your generosity means to them.

What do we need to provide if we adopt a family?

If you adopt a family, we ask that you provide both Christmas gifts & dinner. You may choose the family size you want, but you must provide at least two new gifts for each child (you may provide more if you’d like, and may also include something for the adults, but this is not required). Gift cards to stores like Payless Shoes and Target are also fine. When providing Christmas dinner, please buy gift cards for frozen goods, turkeys and perishables and purchase other holiday food items or consider providing gift cards for a complete Christmas dinner. Fresh produce and extra food are always welcome.

What does it mean to provide Christmas dinner?

This is very simple. You can purchase gift cards to local grocery stores, and/or provide canned goods, produce, and other non perishables for your “adopted” family to prepare their own Christmas dinner. Food gift cards can be purchased from Stater Bros, Ralphs, or Food 4 Less – all have locations close to our “adopted” families. We suggest a modest amount of at least $10 per family member if you decide to provide only gift cards. Some donors provide both food items, and gift cards. Retail Visa or MasterCard gift cards can also be purchased at stores such as Rite-Aid, CVS, or other national retailers. Please avoid bank-issued gift cards because of the fees for use and expiration date.

Grocery Store Gift Card Information

In some cases the family may specify a specific store where they do their grocery shopping. Donors may want to purchase gift cards from those stores. We have listed the most common stores and their locations. If no specific store is mentioned by the family we recommend Ralphs/Food4Less or Stater Bros.

Food4Less & Ralphs

There are two Food4Less grocery stores in Santa Ana. They are owned by Kroger, which is also the parent company of Ralphs, so Ralphs gift cards can be used at Food4Less. Some Ralphs gift cards have the logo of all Kroger stores on the back of the card. These are best for AAF so that the family can see that they do not have to go to a Ralphs to use the gift cards. Gift cards are available in any amount.

Food4Less – 315 E. 1st near Main, Santa Ana
Food4Less – 2140 S. Bristol near Warner, Santa Ana

There are Ralphs stores located throughout Orange County.

Stater Bros.

Stater Bros. gift cards are available in denominations of: $10.00, $15.00, $25.00, $50.00 or $100.00. Stater Bros. are located throughout Orange County.

Northgate Markets

There are 6 Northgate Markets in Santa Ana. They have gift cards that can be of any denomination.

770 S. Harbor near McFadden, Santa Ana
1010 S. Main near McFadden, Santa Ana
1120 S. Bristol @ McFadden, Santa Ana
230 N. Harbor near First, Santa Ana
409 E. 4th @ French, Santa Ana
1623 W. 17th Street @ College, Santa Ana

El Super grocery

There are 2 El Super grocery stores in Santa Ana. They have gift cards in $25 increments.

3700 W. McFadden @ S. Harbor (Walmart Plaza), Santa Ana
2445 S. Bristol between Central and Warner, Santa Ana

Superior Grocer (formerly La Superior Grocery)

There are 3 Superior Grocer grocery stores in Santa Ana. Gift cards are available in any amount and can be used at any of the 3 stores.

1720 E. 17th between Tustin and N. Grand, Santa Ana
1710 S. Main between Edinger and St. Andrew, Santa Ana
2009 W. First between Fairview and Bristol, Santa Ana

Do you have more gift card ideas?

Gift cards to local stores are very helpful, especially for teenagers and parents. Some stores to consider include: Target, Payless Shoes, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Forever 21, Walmart and Toys-R-Us.

Do you have suggestions on where to purchase school uniforms?

School uniforms are plain white tops with long or short sleeves and a collar (polo shirts or buttoned), navy blue or khaki (tan) bottoms, and plain navy blue sweaters/sweatshirts unless otherwise specified on the Donor Agreement.

The schools have provided these names of stores that sell school uniforms.

Factory 2 U / Fallas
Factory 2 U / Fallas usually has school uniforms. They sell gift cards and offer gift receipts. They have 5 locations in Orange County. www.factory2-u.com

Factory 2-U
1360 W. Edinger Ave
Santa Ana

Fallas Paredes
201 W. 4th St
Santa Ana

Factory 2-U
9691 Chapman Ave
Garden Grove

Fallas Paredes
2230 E. Lincoln Ave

Factory 2-U
137 Orangefair Mall

Old Navy

Many stores have website availability when not available in store.

There is nothing unique about the school uniforms they just require specific colors. Any store you find white tops and navy blue or tan bottoms is acceptable. We always suggest you include the gift receipt.

How do we sign up to adopt a family?

There are three ways: return the tear-off form from the SOS Adopt A Family mailing via mail, AAF2015@shareourselves.org. No donor sign-up forms can be accepted after Wednesday, December 9.

Which family can I adopt?

We have families of many sizes from a single parent with one child to large blended families with as many as 3-6 adults and 1-12 children sharing an apartment. We try to fill any special requests such as “single dad,” “cancer patient,” “young girls,” “boys 7 and 9,” “no teenagers,” or “veterans.” Please list your special request on the donor form and we will do our best to find a family that meets your request.

When will I find out who my family is?

We will begin sending donors the information on their “adopted” family after November 12. We will email, fax or mail the information to you as you indicated on the donor sign-up form.

What is the delivery day this year?

Delivery day will be Thursday, December 17, 2015, at the OC Fair & Event Center, between 8:00am and 11:00am. Donors must drop off in the morning since we deliver to the families in the afternoon! Those adopting 4 or more families will need to deliver on the 15th or 16th and will be contacted to arrange a delivery time.

How can I volunteer to help with Adopt A Family?

We need volunteers from December 15 through December 17 at the OC Fair & Event Center. Volunteers are needed for set up, wrapping gifts, packing boxes for the families not adopted by a specific donor, unloading donors’ cars, delivering boxes to the schools and other recipient organizations, and much more. If you would like to volunteer, you must register with us ahead of time. Interested volunteers should send an email to rramos@shareourselves.org or call us at 949.270.2197.

We also need assistance from October 13 through December 11 to help with administrative work. Please send an email to rramos@shareourselves.org or call us at 949.270.2197 if you are interested in volunteering before December 11.

Can I give you the name of a family that wants to be adopted?

SOS only works with families referred directly to us by Costa Mesa and Santa Ana organizations and schools. Families wanting to receive holiday gifts need to call 211, the countywide social services referral agency.

What if I am going to be out of town on the delivery day?

If you need to drop off your gifts early, we do allow a drop off from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 14th, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 15th and 16th. You can also call and speak to Julie Askelson at 949.270.2187. If you need to drop off early, do not bring a frozen turkey or other perishable food; bring a grocery gift card instead.