Donors make wishes come true at Christmas.

Adopt-A-Family donations stand ready for distribution at the Portland Tabernacle Corps. [Photo by Teresa Engel]

Individuals, families or businesses desiring to make a difference at Christmastime find a worthy outlet in The Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. Struggling moms and dads complete an “adoption” application, which is then used to determine eligibility. If they meet the criteria, they complete a “Wish List” detailing family members, ages, sizes and gift requests.

Contributors are paired up with each application and receive their family’s wish list. Based on the fact sheet, they purchase, wrap and deliver their gifts to the Army’s distribution center. On a separate date adopted families pick up their presents, never learning who their sponsors were.

Coordinated by Bobbi Robb, Long Beach Citadel (Calif.) has maintained its Adopt-A-Family program intermittently for the past 35 years. Even though numbers were down this year, the corps still received sufficient resources to adopt 108 families—compared to almost 250 last year. In addition, 30 families shopped with a $3,000 donation from Walmart and 1,800 people received meal coupons for Christmas dinners at the Reef restaurant.

“Looks as if we had a good Christmas for the Long Beach family,” Robb said.

In Oregon, Portland Tabernacle was the sole location serving the whole metropolitan area. Donations came in to provide assistance to 204 families and 28 seniors. The Gresham Corps sponsored 21 families and Tualatin Valley Citadel partnered with local families in its Toy-N-Joy program for family Christmas assistance.

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