With Community Support, 6th Annual Adopt a Family Another Great Success!
The IRC in Seattle ended the 2012 year on a positive note with the sixth-annual Adopt a Family project. Community sponsors came together this holiday season to donate to recently arrived refugee families in King County. These generous donors gathered their co-workers, schoolmates, neighbors, family and church members to adopt 73 families resettled this year by the IRC in Seattle.
The Adopt a Family project goes beyond donation of gifts for the families, giving sponsors and families the chance to meet together and share tea, maybe a song and many stories. Community sponsors had the opportunity to deliver their Adopt a Family gifts directly to their family, to meet them and welcome them to their new home in the United States. These families have escaped perilous and oppressive conditions in their home countries, and many have undergone extremely difficult circumstances in order to reach to U.S. and begin rebuilding their lives. Adopt a Family is a unique way for the community surrounding these families to feel welcomed and supported.
Sponsors were matched with a family from the community, and each individual family member received their own gifts. These gifts ranged from useful household items such as kitchen goods, and blankets to fun items such as bikes for children, DVD players and digital cameras. Warm clothing, books, and Orca cards were also common items the newly arrived families received.
In 2007, a student at Lakeside Upper School in North Seattle brought Adopt a Family to the attention of the school’s US Service Learning Coordinator, Zinda Foster, and that year 32 students and four teachers participated. This year, Lakeside participated for the fifth year in a row, and participation has grown to over 150 students and teachers, and adopting ten families this winter! “The IRC allows students to practice compassion, learn about others, and practice ethical spirits,” Zinda said when explaining why they participate in Adopt a Family every year. “I see our kids dig into their own pockets, and ask their friends for help.”
Like Lakeside, many sponsors have participated in Adopt a Family since its inception, and have expressed joy in making it a part of their family or business traditions every holiday season. For a few sponsors, Adopt a Family is just the beginning. Many will continue on to foster a relationship with the family they were matched with through the donation program. Others will be inspired to find different ways to be involved with the volunteer opportunities and programs at the IRC in Seattle.
Thank you to all of you who made Adopt a Family this year an unbelievable success! Without the 50+ generous donors and volunteers, this impactful donation program would not have been possible.