Angel Blog

How Businesses Can Fully Engage Employees And Give Back Through Our Adopt-A-Family Program

Here's a quick guide as to how businesses can sign up for our adopt-a-family program.

Every year for the holidays, Soldiers’ Angels runs an Adopt-A-Family program to help military families who may be struggling to provide gifts for their children. The program opens mid-September and every year we get thousands of applicants who just want to provide a nice holiday for their family.

Each year we try and encourage as many people as possible to sign-up to ensure we can accommodate the overwhelming amount of applicants we get. While we get many individuals and civic groups who sign-up, it’s actually the businesses that engage their employees who make the biggest impact, as they are able to adopt lots of families and/or families who are larger in size.

What is Required?

Our Adopt-A-Family program is a great way to take on a charitable endeavor while also engaging employees during the holiday season. Adopting a family means that you are asked to provide a minimum of $50 – $100 food gift card towards a holiday meal (depending on the size of the family), and gifts for each child age 18 and under in the amount of $35 – $50. All toys/gifts must be new and age-appropriate. We ask that you wrap the gifts unless otherwise indicated by the family. Depending on the location of the family, you may be asked to ship the presents to the family that you are matched with, so the families can receive your gifts before the Christmas holidays. If you are in the local area of the family you have adopted, you may meet and exchange the gifts, but we ask that it not be at the military family’s home for safety, unless the family agrees.

How to Engage Employees to Make a Big Impact

Think your business would be a good fit? We interviewed Angel Barbara Richardson, Assistant Vice President of Finance at Barclays to give you an example of creative ways to make a big impact and engage staff through our Adopt-A-Family program.

Barbara has been an angel for about 7 years and serves on the Special Operations Forces Team (SOFT) and Baking team. She’s also on the Chaplain team at different times during the year when Barclays does care package events, and on the Adopt-A-Family team during the holidays.

“Here at Barclays, I run a group called MSN (Military Service Network) where we try to support our Active Duty, Veteran and First Responders. We do a variety of community service and fundraising for a variety of events.  Since I’m the point person for MSN, when i have a personal project or idea going on (usually involving a Soldiers’ Angels project), I bring my team along,” says Barbara.

“For example, I’ve sent stockings at Christmas time for the guys I was adopting.  So I did a fundraiser (bake sale/raffle) here at the office to raise funds to do even more stockings. Last year I believe we did over 75 stockings. Sometimes events come up and I think of ways to include Soldiers’ Angels, for example, we have a bring your child to work day and someone asked me about doing a community service element. So I thought, lets send care packages.  The kids bring in items for the boxes, make cards/letters and then I typically get a deployed chaplain assigned to me so we can send many boxes. This year, across our locations I think we did almost 200 boxes,” says Barbara.

Adopt-A-Family is one Soldiers’ Angels program her company goes all in for.

“With Adopt A Family, we originally just asked for donations to adopt a few families. Now we have fundraising events throughout the year to get funds,” explains Barbara.

Barclay’s biggest fundraiser for Adopt-A-Family is a yearly Vendor Sale where they ‘sell’ tables to people at the office who sell stuff on the side. Vendors also donate an item of what they’re selling and they raffle them off to raise even more funds.


“We take the proceeds from this event, along with whatever cash we get donated, to adopt as many as we can. In fact, since we have these funds, we typically try to get the larger families that would otherwise not get adopted. On top of it, our company has a matching fundraiser program. So we’re usually able to get matching funds sent to Soldiers’ Angels to further support the project,” says Barbara.

Last year, Barclays adopted six families that had a total of 33 kids and 12 adults. That’s gifts for 33 kids and grocery gift cards to provide food for all six families to have a nice holiday meal!

The fundraisers they do are just one way they engage employees through the Adopt-A-Family program. They also have packing and wrapping events once the gifts have been purchased. As you can see, they incorporated lots of fun elements into the program that engages employees in a way that makes them feel good about the company and has a give-back component. It’s also great that the corporate office matches funds to help support their efforts, showing that they truly care about giving back.

 How to Get Started

Ready to get your company involved in our Adopt-A-Family program? Once registration is open, businesses can complete an online registration form. Businesses can then search the database and select families for adoption. For businesses adopting three or more families who would like assistance in matching with families, please register and then contact us for additional assistance. Check our the Adopt-A-Family Program page here for full details.

If you need more information, please use the contact form on this page. You can also check the Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses.