Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Adopt a family in need for the holidays: Here’s how you can help

Volunteers distribute backpacks to low-income families during the Share Our Selves Back to School Program in August.
(File photo / Daily Pilot)

This holiday season marks the 46th year of Share Our Selves’ annual Adopt A Family program, a tradition that helps struggling Orange County families by providing gifts and food for the holidays.

Since the beginning of the program, more than 47,000 families have been adopted. This year, the Adopt A Family program will connect donors with more than 1,600 families recommended by Costa Mesa and Santa Ana organizations and schools.

To participate, SOS asks that donors agree to provide each child in the family with at least two new gifts and the family with a complete holiday dinner (or grocery gift cards) or provide just gifts.

To adopt a family, note the family’s number and call to say which family you would like to adopt. The SOS Adopt A Family program can be reached at (949) 270-2187 or



SOS provided the Daily pilot with information about the following families:




The parents in this family recently added a 14-year-old boy to the fold. His father died when he was 3 and his mother died recently from cancer shortly after she was diagnosed. He has no other family to care for him so his godmother, the matriarch of the family, welcomed him into the home. The family struggled to pay for the funeral expenses and now struggles financially more than ever.

Individual gifts for each of the children will brighten their Christmas and bring joy to the parents as well. Gift cards for Target or Walmart will be welcome to purchase household items as well as needed clothing. Grocery store gift cards for Food4Less or Ralphs are also encouraged.

Girl, 6: Scooter, Barbie doll

Boy, 14: Skateboard, soccer ball

Girl, 15: Makeup, arts and crafts materials, purse

Girl, 16: Makeup, nail art, arts and crafts materials

Boy, 17: Board games, music

Mother: Mom would like a refrigerator, as their refrigerator is not working properly, a set of new or used bunk beds, dishes, cups, daily use items like shampoo, lotion, soap and detergent


Father: A wallet, deodorant



This family has asked for very little. The father is the sole provider but makes so little they find themselves living in a garage because they can’t afford an apartment. He is worried as cold weather approaches because there is no heat and the garage gets very cold at night.

Warm sweaters, jackets, socks, pajamas and blankets will be appreciated. A toy for each boy would be a real treat, and a delight to their parents, as well.

A gift card for groceries will enable the mother to purchase food that she is able to prepare in their unconventional living quarters.

Boy, 1: Winter clothes like pajamas, onesies, sweats, socks, sweaters, and a jacket, a blanket, a gift card to Walmart for diapers, formula, etc., age-appropriate toys

Boy, 4: Winter clothes like pajamas, sweats, socks, sweaters, and a jacket, a blanket, books, a bike, age-appropriate toys


Mother: Groceries, winter clothes like pajamas, socks, sweaters, a coat, a blanket, a gift card to Stater Bros. and Walmart

Father: Groceries, winter clothes like pajamas, socks, sweaters, a coat, a blanket, a gift card to Stater Bros. and Walmart



The father of this family works part-time at a minimum-wage job. The family rents a bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment, so both space and finances are tight. The children wear the same worn but clean clothes to school every day, and one recently showed his teacher the holes in his shoes so he wouldn’t have to go out to the wet playground.

New toys would bring smiles to the children’s faces and warm, durable clothes would be welcome — either of your choice or with gift cards. Consider also a grocery gift card to allow the choice of food suitable for cooking and storing in their limited space.


Boy, 6: Winter clothes, any age-appropriate toys

Girl, 10: Winter clothes, gift card for shoes, any age-appropriate toys

Boy, 12: Winter clothes, gift card for shoes

Boy, 14: Winter clothes, gift card for shoes

Girl, 13: Winter clothes, gift card for shoes

Mother:Food such as beans, rice, canned soup; toiletries such as toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant; clothes detergent

Father:Polo shirts for work

More families will be included in upcoming editions of the Daily Pilot.