Bringing the magic of Christmas
to families living in the Downtown area of Los Angeles
The Adopt-A-Family Program began in 1990 at the old St. Vibiana Cathedral because I wanted to build upon an existing Cathedral Christmas Basket Program that provided dinner and toys to children in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood area, donated by the parish priests and parishioners. We all recognized the great challenges faced by families with children in the area, this new program was designed to bring the magic and spirit of Christmas to as many Skid Row families with children as possible.
The lives of children living on Skid Row were bleak, residing in hotels and apartments often crowded in one-room units with brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, and other family members. Surrounded by drug dealing, prostitution, violent crime, and poverty, there were very few comforts and often little joy. Very few have refrigerators; fewer have stoves, and bathroom and kitchen facilities were often down the hall and shared with neighbors. Little did we know that thirty-two years later we would still be thinking of ways to help our disadvantaged brothers and sisters in downtown Los Angeles. But, here we are today, 2022 with hardships and challenges still plaguing families in downtown Los Angeles only the dynamics have shifted. Many families have moved outside the parameters of downtown and the Skid Row area, but still seek assistance from centers, churches, and organizations within the area.
The Adopt-A-Family Program has grown steadily, as more and more people have committed themselves to this noble goal each holiday season through an ever-expanding donor base. A significant change was in the sponsorship element which gave donors an opportunity to “adopt” families and provide gifts, which increased the quantity and quality of items to the gift boxes and added clothing and gifts for parents.
Through the Adopt-A-Family Program, volunteers personally visit the families to identify their individual needs as well as what the children would like for Christmas. Then on delivery day, volunteers return to the homes with food, toiletries, blankets, books, baby care items, and clothing for the entire family. In addition, toys and games are provided to the children with much-needed diversion and recreation. For these families, the anticipation of a joyous Christmas celebration is a light of hope in what can be a very dark and challenging existence. Since the beginning, the Adopt-A-Family Program has helped over 13,000 families, with food, clothes, and toys.
After two years of the program not being able to exist in person due to the pandemic, we are now back. We are preparing for a successful delivery day scheduled for Saturday, December 17th. This success will only be possible through the generosity of people willing to open their hearts, lend their hands and loving actions, and provide the resources necessary to make the Christmas holiday possible for those less fortunate.
With this in mind, I invite you to be a part of our Adopt-A-Family Program. Our commitment to these families has remained ever so strong. Join me and my team as we turn our hearts and eyes toward those families and children who need our support more than ever. Help us lift their spirits and burdens by sharing our faith and love filled with the blessings of the Newborn King during this Christmas Season.
Let us remember the words of Pope Francis:
“Christmas is the feast of love incarnate and born for us in Jesus Christ. He is the light of mankind shining in the darkness, giving meaning to human existence and to the whole of history.”
Please browse our website where you will find ways in which you can participate in the 2022 Adopt a Family program. And on behalf of all whose lives you will touch, I thank you.
May God bless you and your loved ones during this Season of Grace!
Rev. Msgr. Terrance Fleming
Meet ‘Our Angels’
Meet the team behind the ‘Adopt-A-Family’ program. Learn how best to contact us.
Adopt-A-Family Celebrates 25 Years
Families Adopted Over the Years
Monetary Donors Yearly
Yearly School Sponsored Food Drives
Children Adopted Over the Years
Yearly Companies Sponsoring Families
Yearly Schools Sponsoring Families
Yearly Individuals Sponsoring Families