Catholic Charities Launches Annual ‘Adopt-a-Family’ Program

Seeking Donors to Create Brighter Christmas for Children in Need

Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster – Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster is ready to make Christmas merrier this year for the children and families it serves. The not-for-profit human service agency announced the launch of its annual Christmas Adopt-a-Family program. Now in its 13th year, the Christmas giving program matches families referred by Catholic Charities’ case managers with donors who “adopt” them for Christmas.  Last year, the generosity of donors brightened Christmas for more than 100 local families.

“2020 has played havoc on so many in our community. The ongoing pandemic is making it difficult for some families to make ends meet. Children are longing to get back to school and spend time with friends. Everyone is eager for some semblance of normal in their daily lives,” said Michael Peters, Catholic Charities Resource Exchange Coordinator who oversees the annual Adopt-a-Family event. “We are incredibly grateful to those donors who are able to share their blessings this year so that those who are struggling may enjoy a merry Christmas,” added Peters.

Each autumn, Catholic Charities staff gather the details of families with children that can benefit from a helping hand for Christmas. Information includes such items as children’s age, gender, clothing size, special interests, and possible gift suggestions. For children age 12 and under, it is requested that the gift include an outfit (shirt and pants) and an age-appropriate toy.

The details are provided to donors who have generously volunteered to “adopt” a family for Christmas. Adopters are frequently businesses, scout troops, school groups, office co-workers, classmates, civic groups, and families – anyone who is looking to create a brighter Christmas for a youngster. Past donors have included adult siblings who no longer exchange family gifts and colleagues who want an alternative to the office gift exchange. Many donors also supplement their family’s gifts with holiday food baskets and gift cards to make the season even more special.

“Catholic Charities is grateful to have friends and neighbors with warm hearts and caring spirits who support us throughout the year and are especially generous during the Christmas season. Their help is needed more than ever this year,” said Hector Morell, Director of Social and Human Services, Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster. “Witnessing the overwhelming generosity that flows into our office in the weeks before Christmas reminds us of how fortunate we are to be a part of this community and reaffirms our faith in humanity,” added Morell.

Those looking to adopt a family for Christmas should contact, Michael Peters at (845) 562.4733 or email Gifts should be delivered to Catholic Charities for distribution to families by December 11.

Families in need of support this Christmas should contact Catholic Charities Case Management Department at or (845) 561-1665 to discuss assistance options.

Gifts will be distributed by Catholic Charities employees to the adopted families between December 14 and December 23.