Where do you get your families and seniors?

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

Our service area for the Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-Senior program is Irvine to San Clemente.


How are the families paired with sponsors?

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, Spanish-speaking, families with teenagers). 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 food/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.


Does the sponsor cook the holiday meal(s) for the client family?

No. The Sponsor is asked to provide the makings for a holiday meal or a gift card to cover the cost of a family dinner.


Should we wrap the gifts?

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.


How can we get the clothing sizes for our family?

The clothing sizes for each family member will be included in the email that is sent to you immediately after you make your selection to sponsor your family.  Sponsor will know the gender and age of each of the children in the adopted family and will be given a list of gift ideas.


Can I just send in gift cards?

You are more than welcome to send us gift cards.  We have new families 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 by December 4.


Can I do a toy or gift drive?

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 rstevenson@sco-oc.org for details on deadlines and delivery instructions.


Should the sponsor provide a gift for the parent or guardian?

It would be a nice gesture to provide a gift to the parent or guardian, as that may be the only gift they receive.


Are my Adopt-A-Family or Adopt-A-Senior donations tax deductible?

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 in 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.


When do the Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-Senior programs begin?

South County Outreach will begin accepting applications the first week in October.


How does a sponsor sign up to adopt a family or senior for the holidays?

A sponsor, small group or faith community completes an application either in the office or through our website. They will receive a confirmation email and further instructions at that time.