The ABCD Adopt-a-Family Initiative

ABCD’s Adopt-a-Family program matches donors with a Boston household working to improve their lives. Donors help their sponsored family by filling a family's “wish list” during the winter months, and can choose to continue the relationship year-round—helping families in large ways and small which can prevent crisis and build a better future.

An ABCD case manager works with every recipient family to identify their most pressing needs, and every family is engaged in a long-term process of assessment, income maximization, education and job search in order to help the family make progress over time.

Both recipient families and donors are screened, and ABCD manages the program to ensure everyone’s security and privacy. Every sponsor gets regular updates on how their family is doing, and if both households agree, sponsors and recipient families can meet, making a face-to-face connection.


Get Involved with Adopt-a-Family

To participate in ABCD's Adopt-a-Family Initiative, or for further questions, contact:

ABCD GiveLine
Phone: 617-348-6559


Learn More About Adopt-a-Family: FAQ

What is my commitment?

ABCD will match you with a family, and provide you with a personalized list of the things they need most during the winter months. We ask you to provide for a “basic package” of winter assistance though donors may also donate more at their discretion.

ABCD arranges for the delivery of packages, and includes a personal message from you and your own household or group. Donors receive a thank you note from their recipient family.

If you decide to be part of the ABCD Adopt-A-Family program, we will ask you to fill out an application form and permit the agency to run a CORI check. This is to protect the vulnerable families we serve.

How long is my commitment?

Family Sponsors initially sign up for the winter season—December through March. If you want to continue working with your family, you can sign up in increments of three months. For every three-month period, we ask you to commit to giving one “basic package.”

Can my group sponsor a family?

Yes! The Adopt-A-Family program is a great opportunity for schools, faith groups, businesses, and benevolent organizations.

How much does it cost to sponsor a family?

ABCD asks donors to commit to a minimum “basic package,” with a value of approximately $360, but donors may also donate more at their discretion. Basic packages include items like holiday gifts, holiday meal materials, basic pantry supplies, warm winter clothing, and warm bedding.

If you want to make your gift go as far as possible, please contact us. We can match you with a larger or smaller family to meet your needs. You can also be part of a group of two or three donors who give together to sponsor a family.

How are families chosen?

Very needy families working with ABCD to improve their lives are asked if they would like to be part of this program. They are asked to fill out an application, and are interviewed by a member of our staff. We involve families which have exceptional need, very few other resources, the willingness to abide by program rules, and the commitment to work with us toward a better future.

Can I choose my family?

Because we value the security and privacy of the families we work with, we are very careful to protect their identities early in the program. While you can’t choose a specific family, you can ask to be matched with a family based on the following characteristics:

  • Family size;
  • Neighborhood of residence;
  • Age of parent(s);
  • Single parent or intact family;
  • Unemployed or working;
  • Family with young children or elder.

Can I contact my family directly?

For the security of both family and sponsor, ABCD serves as the “go-between” for communications between you and your family.

Will I get a chance to meet my family?

Yes, in most cases. While the decision to meet is up to both sides—the donor and the recipient family—most families are eager to say “thank you” in person at one of our periodic Adopt-A-Family celebrations.



Get involved today!