Delaware Public Media

DHSS' Adopt-A-Family Holiday program seeks last minute donors

Dec 3, 2018

The Department of Health and Social Services’ (DHSS), Adopt-A-Family Holiday program comes to a close this week.



In 2017, the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program helped make the holiday season a happier one for 2,467 Delawareans.

This year, the program still needs sponsors to provide holiday assistance to children, adults, people with disabilities and seniors.

Program administrator Lisa Johnson says DHSS has been sponsoring Adopt-a-Family for over 40 years.

“Years ago, our program used to be a Wish List program, where we used to provide wish lists to our donors so that they could purchase items, specific items, for the children. But several years ago, our Council (Human Services Council),  voted to change the program to a gift card program,” Johnson said.

Johnson says the gift cards enable the recipients to shop for their own children - or for children to shop for themselves, picking out a toy they may want for Christmas.


Johnson says everyone is a potential sponsor.


“What we do is, anyone who is interested can just call our office to let us know what their budget is and that they’re interested in adopting children. Because our program, right now our requirement is that each donor provide a minimum of $100 per child. And so it would be a $100 gift card per child,” said Johnson.



Johnson adds the program has an online portal where people can go to see the age and gender of each child in need. It also lists a brief description of the circumstances that led to their need for assistance.

She says sponsors provide gift cards to use for the purchase of holiday gifts for children as well as seniors and people with disabilities.


The deadline to “adopt” families with children, seniors or persons with disabilities is this Friday, December 7.



You can “adopt” families online by county - New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County.


For more information about Adopt-A-Family, go to the website or contact your nearest state service center.