Questions about our Holiday Programs?

Read on!


Adopt a Family & Support a Senior FAQ's

The sponsor completes an application on our website www.sco-oc.org, under the “Get Involved Tab and then click on “Holiday Programs”. They will receive a confirmation email and further instructions at that time.  Sponsors can be individuals, groups, corporations/businesses and faith based groups. 

All families who apply for the Adopt-A-Family program and Support-A-Senior Program are enrolled in one of our programs throughout the South Orange County community and are living at or below the poverty level.  The families and seniors who seek our services are suffering economically, and we believe it is important that they are able to celebrate the holidays like everyone else. Annually, more than 400 families are adopted and over 100 seniors. 

The sponsor indicates how many families and the size of those families when they register online.   A South County Outreach holiday helper does his or her best to match the families according to the sponsor’s preference (e.g. single parent, Non-English-speaking, families with teenagers, small families, large families). Each of the client families must have agreed to have their name shared with a community sponsor. Both parties agree to a time and place to meet for the gift drop-off. Sponsors will know the gender and age of each of the children in the adopted family and will be given a list of gift ideas.

The sponsor indicates that they would like to adopt a senior and they can indicate a city of residency.  A South County Outreach holiday helper does his or her best to match the senior according to the sponsor’s city preference.  It is not guaranteed that all city requests can be met but matches are made as close to the requested city as possible.  The senior must have agreed to have their name shared with a community sponsor.  Both parties agree to a time and place to meet for the gift drop-off.   Meeting at a neutral place is recommended.  Sponsors will know the gender, age and a few gift ideas for the senior. 

We recommend spending $25-$50 per family member or senior.  If you’d like to adopt a family or support a senior personally but don’t have that much to spend, we recommend you recruit additional family members, church members or co-workers to join you!  The more the merrier! 

Sponsors will know the gender and age of each of the children in the adopted family or senior and will be given a list of gift ideas.  The family or senior will give you the sizes when they are contacted. 

It would be a nice gesture to provide a gift to the parent or guardian, as that may be the only gift they receive.  Another suggestion would be to provide the items for a holiday dinner or a gift card to a local market so they can purchase the items themselves. 

Sponsors will know the gender and age of each of the children in the adopted family or senior and will be given a list of gift ideas.  The family or senior will give you the sizes when they are contacted.

Ideally, no. In most cases the parents maybe using these gifts as presents from Santa or as a gift from the parent. Providing wrapping materials to the family can be a nice extra.   It is acceptable to wrap the gifts for seniors. 

There is no set time to deliver the gifts—some sponsors wait until Christmas week, others make arrangements to meet earlier in the month.  It is requested that you contact your family or senior within 72 hours of being matched so they know they have been adopted and can look forward to meeting with you. 

We recommend a neutral location to protect the privacy of our families.  Some families and seniors feel comfortable inviting their sponsor to their home but that is entirely up to the family or senior.  Sponsors and families/seniors have met for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or for coffee.  Businesses and faith based groups have planned a small Christmas party at their business or church.  Others have met for a picnic.  The family or senior may have a location in mind as well.

You are more than welcome to send us gift cards.  We have new families and seniors entering our programs every day who may not make the deadline for applying for assistance this holiday season.  If you choose to send in gift cards for no family in particular, you can drop them off or mail them to South County Outreach 3 weeks PRIOR TO Christmas or if you wish, you can also choose to send gift cards for the Thanksgiving Holiday – please send those three weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  Gift card suggestions:  Kohl’s, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Vans, Famous Footwear, Old Navy, Justice, Sephora, Game Stop, Fandango, Amazon, Target and Walmart, Stater Bros, Ralph’s, Albertson’s, Sprouts etc.

Absolutely!  Many families who are unable to participate in the program still have great need, and we are able to invite them to a one day Toy Store a week before the holidays to select from what we have received from organizations that conduct Toy Drives.  If you are interested in South County Outreach being the beneficiary of your organization’s toy or gift drive, please email holiday@sco-oc.org for details on deadlines and delivery instructions. 

For toy or gift ideas visit our website at www.sco-oc.org , click on Get Involved on the first page and scroll down to Holiday Toy Drive and click on it. 

South County Outreach is happy to acknowledge your Adopt-A-Family or Adopt a Senior donations for tax purposes.  However, current IRS regulations prohibit us from including a monetary value of the donation on our acknowledgement letter.  After the holiday, we will provide a description of your donation on our letter, but in order for you to receive tax credit for your donation you must provide receipts for the items or gift cards you purchase.  These receipts, attached to the acknowledgement letter, can be submitted to your tax preparer.  if you are planning to submit your donation for tax credit, be sure to save your receipts! 

South County Outreach will begin accepting client applications the first week in September through October 31st.  We are accepting Sponsor requests starting September 1st through November 30th.  Sponsors and family and/or senior matches will being on November 1st through November 30th. 

Yes, you may adopt a family and/or a senior.  You may also choose to adopt more than one family or senior.  Please see the application – there is a place to indicate how many families or seniors. 


Need more information? Email holiday@sco-oc.org or call our Holiday Hotline at 949-380-8144 x208