Share Our Selves, a Costa Mesa nonprofit organization, is holding its 48th annual Adopt A Family program to provide gifts and food to struggling Orange County families for the holidays.
Since the beginning of the program, more than 50,000 families have been “adopted,” according to SOS. This year, Adopt A Family will connect donors with more than 1,500 families recommended by Costa Mesa and Santa Ana organizations and schools.
SOS asks that donors agree to give each child in the family at least two new gifts and provide the family with a grocery store gift card for a complete holiday dinner.
Below are some of the families and their gift wish lists. To adopt a family, note the family’s number and contact the SOS Adopt A Family program at (949) 270-2187 or AAF@shareourselves.org.
A donor form is available at shareourselves.org/aaf.
This family has been through a challenging year. Dad was the victim of an armed robbery. He was shot and left paralyzed from the waist down. He was recently discharged from long-term care but is confined to his bed because the family lives in a motel.
The older daughter has poorly controlled juvenile diabetes and has frequent doctor and emergency room visits. Mom can’t work because she has to care for her husband and daughter. They have no income until disability or victim’s assistance programs can be accessed, and Mom is overwhelmed by her situation.
5-year-old girl: Barbies, Lego, arts and crafts, warm clothes, gift card for shoes.
8-year-old girl: Barbies, Lego, arts and crafts, bike (bike was stolen).
Father: Walmart or Target gift cards. First aid supplies for wound cleaning, wipes, loose shirt, pajama pants.
Mother: Target, Food4Less or Walmart gift cards.
This family is struggling to make ends meet. Dad works long hours during the week and Saturdays and Sundays when someone offers a job. They can afford to rent only a garage, which serves as a bedroom and kitchen, and all five family members share a bed.
It is hard for them to afford basic, everyday necessities. The parents wish to have kitchen utensils, such as frying pans, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, towels, blankets for full-size bed, winter clothing, diapers, grocery gift cards and gardening tools. Their children love Mickey Mouse toys.
2-year-old boy: Fire truck, Mickey Mouse.
3-year-old girl: Mickey Mouse board book, “My Book of Letters.”
5-year-old girl: Disney Doc Mc Stuffin, writing tablet pad.
Mother: Winter clothing.
Father: Winter clothing.
The daughter has spent most of her life on the streets with her mother, who has substance-abuse issues. They moved often, sleeping on the streets or sharing housing with strangers. She rarely went to school.
She now lives with her elderly aunt and uncle who have health issues. Her uncle is on disability for kidney disease and receives dialysis three times a week. He recently had a heart attack and was hospitalized.
Gift cards to a grocery store would be appreciated. The daughter would love gift cards to Target or Kohl’s so she can buy school supplies and clothes.
8-year-old girl: Leggings, bike, tablet, Chromebook for school, shoe gift card for Target or Kohl’s.
Aunt: Gift cards for Food4Less, Target, Walmart.
Uncle: Gift cards for Target or Kohl’s.
This family is homeless and living in a hotel. The father is a single parent and unemployed. He is trying to make money by refurbishing e-waste electronics and selling them to buy food and hygiene necessities.
Everyone in the family needs shoes. Please consider gift cards to WSS, Famous Footwear or other shoe stores.
They need warm bedding, so consider warm sleeping bags or blankets. Toys and games are recommended. They need something small and portable.
5-year-old girl: Shopkins and “Moana” toys. A gift card to WSS or Famous Footwear. All types of clothing, especially winter clothing. Warm blanket for nighttime.
9-year-old girl: Monster High dolls, training bras. A gift card to WSS or Famous Footwear would help her buy new shoes. Clothing of all types, especially winter clothing and sweaters, blankets.
Father: A gift card to WSS or Famous Footwear. Any type of clothing and warm sweaters for the winter. A blanket.
Father is a widowed, single father. His daughter is special needs and suffers from emotional issues. Dad has two jobs to be able to afford the room he is renting for them both, but is still struggling to make ends meet.
Anything you can provide will be helpful, but keep in mind they live in a single room, so things need to be small. Warm blankets, outerwear, shoes and clothes are essential for them, as is nutritious food. A gift card to Food for Less or Walmart can help Dad plan and purchase food as they need it, since storage is a problem.
5-year-old girl: Anything princess or Barbie. She needs undergarments and winter clothing.
Father: Muscle shirts and winter clothing.
Tragedy struck this family in April, when Dad died of kidney failure, leaving the mother (who was pregnant) on her own with three children. Working as a laundress in a local hotel, her income was not enough to allow them to keep their home, so they were forced to start renting a room in another household.
Not only will the holidays be emotionally tough, they will be financially difficult as well.
Certainly her 5-year-old would delight in finding a new toy on Christmas morning and, at 15, her daughter might like a gift certificate all her own, giving her the opportunity to have some control over something in her life as she selects items that she would love. The entire family is in need of warm clothing. The school has indicated shoes are also needed and suggests a gift card to WSS Shoes or Famous Footwear.
2-month-old girl: Infant needs winter clothing, PJs, jacket, blankets, size 3 diapers, baby toys.
5-year-old-boy: Toys, cars and Spider-Man. He needs winter clothing, a jacket, sweater, jeans, school uniform, socks. He likes the colors red and blue.
15-year-old girl: In high school and loves to write. She needs winter clothing, jacket, sweater, jeans. Favorite colors are silver and red.