Empty Stocking Fund/Adopt A Family
EMPTY STOCKING FUND
The Empty Stocking Fund is a holiday assistance program that has been around for 80 years! The program is designed to help struggling families experiencing crisis in our community. Families may receive assistance with toys through applying for assistance at the Toy Closet or they may submit an application through their children’s school counselor for Adopt a Family. Utility Assistance is used to help with utility bills. The Empty Stocking Fund consists of the following three important components:
The Toy Closet: Providing toys to qualified families, managed by the Cannon Memorial YMCA in Kannapolis, NC. The Toy Closet allows parents/guardians who qualify for assistance, the opportunity to apply for and receive toys at no cost. The age limit for the Toy Closet is 16.
Adopt-A-Family: The Family Adoption Program is designed to help those that are in the most critical need this holiday season and is coordinated by CCM. The Adopt a Family Program is designed to help referred clients/families with groups or individuals who have volunteered to “Adopt” a family for Christmas. Referrals come from school counselors and local agencies. Family adoptions are not guaranteed and are based on the amount of individuals willing to participate in this program. CCM does not take self-referrals. Individuals must submit an application through their school counselor and is especially for families not receiving help from any other source. The deadline to receive applications is November 2nd.
The Utility Assistance Program-Providing utility assistance, through financial donations received for this program, administered by CCM. Donations can be made to CCM at P.O. Box 1717, Concord, NC 28026-1717
Where do you get your families?
The Empty Stocking Fund is a holiday assistance program that helps struggling families experiencing crisis in our community. The Family Adoption Program is designed to help those that are in the most critical need this holiday season. Applications are submitted by school counselors or caseworkers. CCM matches referred clients/families with groups or individuals who have volunteered to “Adopt” a family for Christmas.
What size family should we adopt?
- It is important to adopt a realistic size family that you feel comfortable assisting based on your personal budget. Our families range from single parent and child to up to larger families with several children in the home. All families in the household are eligible to receive gifts.
- If your budget is small, it is recommended to adopt a small family of 1 or 2 children.
What happens once I adopt a family?
Once you have selected a family, you will receive an email with the family details including sizes, needs and wish list.
- Please make contact within 24-48 hours, introduce yourself and let them know you will be assisting their family for Christmas.
What are my gift-giving options?
Gift cards are especially meaningful to the families. Gift cards preserve the dignity of the parents allowing them to do the shopping for their own gifts and food for the holidays. Most families appreciate and welcome the opportunity to shop as well as select and wrap the gifts themselves for their kids. If you prefer to shop for or with the parents, you will be given a list of sizes for each family member as well as wish lists when available. Gifts for the children can be toys, games, books, clothing, etc. You may provide a gift for the entire family, your giving is a personal decision based on your budget.
- There is no obligation to purchase everything on the wish list. You are welcome to contact the family to discuss gift ideas or needs for the family.
What gift cards and amounts do you recommend for the different sizes of families?
We have found that Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and grocery store gift cards are always welcome. We recommend spending between $25-$50 per family member. We recommend that you provide your family with two (2) giving options: Provide the family with the means for a meal and gifts for the children.
- If you would like to remain anonymous and get a gift card to a family, we can assist with this.
Should we wrap the gifts?
We do not require that you wrap the gifts, but we do recommend that you have a discussion with the parent as to what their preference is. We want to be sensitive that many of these families would prefer to wrap the gifts themselves.
Can we meet the family we’ve sponsored and when do I need to get the gifts to my family?
Yes, it is your responsibility to get your family their gift cards or gifts a week before Christmas. We ask that you set up and central location to personally give them their gifts or gift cards. Meeting locations could include a church, school or mall.
- For safety reasons, we always recommend that you take someone with you when you deliver gifts.
Can I donate without adopting a family?
Yes, you can donate gift cards by dropping them off at the Crisis Center, 246 Country Club Dr. NE, Concord, NC or you can donate to the Utility Assistance Program or you can donate toys to the Toy Closet at the Kannapolis YMCA.
- CCM will not be able to provide you with a tax receipt for a family that you are adopting because the gifts go directly to the families and not to CCM. Please contact your tax advisor for any questions.