Questions about our Holiday Programs?

Read on!


Adopt a Family & Support a Senior FAQ's

A sponsor, small group or faith community completes an application either in the office or through our website www.sco-oc.org, under the “Get Involved Tab. They will receive a confirmation email and further instructions at that time.

All families who apply for the Adopt-A-Family program and the Adopt-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 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.

The sponsor indicates that they would like to adopt a senior and they can indicate of 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 food/gift drop-off.   Meeting at a neutral place is recommended.  Sponsors will know the gender, age and a few gift ideas for the senior.

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.  Seniors indicate if they would prefer to cook their meal or receive a prefixed meal.

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.

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.

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.

We recommend spending $25-$50 per family member or senior.  If you’d like to adopt a family or 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!

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.

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 da y 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.

For toy or gift ideas visit here.

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

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 applications the first week in October.

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