Our Adopt-a-Family program offers community members the unique opportunity to fulfill holiday wish lists for recently arrived refugee families and individuals, supporting their efforts to gain control of their future and become an integral part of our community.
As a sponsor, you are given the great responsibility of providing gifts for refugee individuals and families. By working together, we can ensure many newly arrived refugees will receive much-needed household items and other gifts this holiday season as they work toward self-sufficiency.
To sponsor a refugee family, kindly follow these steps:
- Read through the Adopt-a-Family FAQs and decide the number of individuals you or your group would like to sponsor.
- Submit your Adopt-a-Family Sponsorship Request. Your request will be received by our Volunteer & Donations Coordinator, Hannah Messick, who will match you with a refugee family or individual(s) in mid-November. Once matched, you will be sent a family profile. Cultural information and family demographics will be included with the profile.
- Purchase the items, saving your receipts. (New items only please.) Deliver items, unwrapped, to the local IRC drop-off location. You will receive more information about the delivery process once you are matched with a refugee family or individual. You are not responsible to distribute gifts directly to the family. Donation receipts will be provided by the end of January.
If you have any questions, kindly feel free to reach out to our Volunteer & Donations Coordinator, Hannah Messick, at DonateSacramento [at] Rescue.org (subject: Adopt-a-Family%20FY17) .
How much should I budget per family?
Last year, the average amount spent per family was $400.
What is the deadline to sign up?
Please submit your interest using the Adopt-a-Family Sponsorship Request by Monday, November 6th. The form will be removed once we are at capacity.
What is the deadline to drop-off gifts?
Specific drop-off information will be included in the family profile packet. We anticipate drop off dates will be within the first two weeks of December.
What types of gifts are requested?
Age appropriate gifts, household items, and technology items are often requested. Each profile comes with specific suggestions, such as men's clothing, blankets, children's toys, electric kettles, vacuums, basic laptops, etc. Remember that each family has recently arrived and is in the beginning stages of making a home.
I'd like to donate, but I don't think I'll be able to sponsor an individual or a family. What should I do?
Gift cards are incredibly useful to help the IRC ensure each family receives a wonderful surprise this winter. We encourage purchasing gift cards to large chain stores, like Walmart, Safeway, Ikea, or Target. You can also learn more about donating Refugee Welcome Kits and other supplies on our Donations Opportunities Page.
Can I donate used items?
For this program, we are requesting new items. Please be sure to save your receipts to turn in with the donations.
Is food/alcohol an acceptable gift?
Because many IRC clients have different dietary restrictions dictated by their culture, religion, or health needs, we discourage donors from giving food as a gift. Alcohol is not acceptable.
Can my family deliver gifts to the refugee family or individual we sponsor?
Donations will be taken to the local IRC drop-off location. Sponsors will not be delivering directly to the refugee family or individual.
Will the gifts I purchase for the refugee family or individual go to the specified family?
Yes. The gifts purchased for a specific refugee family will be given to that family. In some cases, at its discretion, the IRC may distribute additional/duplicate gifts to other refugees.
I'd like to buy gifts for children only. Is that possible?
The Adpot-a-Family program is designed to make this a wonderful experience for each member of a family, adults and children alike!
Since all refugees come from outside the U.S., are there sensitive cultural issues I need to be aware of?
Like anyone, refugee individuals and families arrive with their own religious and/or cultural beliefs. Please keep this in mind as you are selecting gifts. Religious gifts and messaging should be avoided.
Are the items I donate tax deductible?
The items you donate through Adopt-a-Family count as in-kind donations and an in-kind donation receipt will be provided to donors by the end of January.
When assigned a family, the packet provided will include a sheet to itemize the gifts you are donating. If you complete that list and assign the items a dollar value (donor's responsibility), we will confirm receipt of the items and provide you with an in-kind donation receipt. You may want to save a copy of your purchase receipts before submitting them with your donations.
While we don't assign the items a value in your receipt, it is critical for funding purposes that you provide us with receipts from all your purchases. Doing so helps the IRC meet critical reporting requirements and allows us to access funds to help refugees find jobs, stay housed and access transportation.
Please contact our Volunteer & Donations Coordinator, Hannah Messick, at DonateSacramento [at] Rescue.org (subject: Adopt-a-Family%20FY17) . Thank you for supporting newly arrived refugees this holiday season!