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Collecting Donations and Items to Adopt a Family for Thanksgiving

Updated on October 18, 2012

Keeping Track of Items Needed for an "Adpot a Family" Online

Whether you're with a corporation, non-profit or a school - there are always opportunities to adopt a family to put food on their table for a big Thanksgiving feast. My daughter's classroom at school is adopting a family this year. In order to help the first grade class (and their parents) contribute I have set up an online signup form asking for the food items we need donated, as well as give parents the ability to contribute some money through PayPal.

E-mail "Adopt a Family" Invitations - Invite People to Contribute via E-mail

Then ask for food donations or a small monetary gift for your adopt a family.

Adopt a Family Thanksgiving Signup Sheet - Template for Asking for Donations for Adopt a Family's Thanksgiving Dinner

Most people have some non-perishable items they can donate even if they can't contribute any money. Any food is appreciated, but you can also specify what types of food items are needed to make a complete meal. And by keeping the signup sheet online, all contributors will know what to send (and you won't risk everyone sending potatoes, and not having any pies).

Collect Donations via PayPal - Punchbowl Allows You To Collect in Any Amount via PayPal

It's also a good idea to ask for monetary donations. You can either spend the money yourself as the organizer to purchase the items you weren't able to collect (or want to buy fresh before delivery) or you can just collect the money and put it on a giftcard or give the family some cash to spend themselves.

Most people can contribute $1 or $2 for a needy family, and that can add up when you're working with a group of people and pay for a turkey!

VolunteerSpot's Bring Items Sheet - Collect Adopt a Family Food Items with an Online Signup Sheet

Click to see live demo.  You will have to provide your email address to enter (sorry).
Click to see live demo. You will have to provide your email address to enter (sorry).

I like VolunteerSpot's "bring item" sign-up sheet. You can populate the items that contributers need to bring, and then people can sign up to bring it. You can also generate a URL that anyone can use to see the sign-up sheet, so long as they provide their email address.

You can also ask for donations through VolunteerSPot. However, they use WePay (instead of PayPal) and the minimum contribution is $10. That's a little high for some people. Like my daugher's classroom - even $1 from each family in a class of 25 would be welcome.

How to Get Involved and Adpot a Family - Want to Adopt a Family for Thanksgiving but not sure how to get involved?

Many times there are opportunities to give to needy families in your local communities. Often corporations will sponsor a family (or several families) as will school classrooms. If your workplace isn't working with a family, you can also check with hospitals and human services in your area. They will likely be adopting a family and you can participate that way.

However, there are also some ways to adopt families online. Here are a few.

Have you ever used an online signup service to manage an "Adopt a Family" meal?

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    • shauna1934 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Thomo85: That's awesome! I know there are a lot of ways to adopt families both online and off. I was thinking about adding a list of ways to adopt families to this lens too.

    • Thomo85 profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great idea, A shop over here called Kmart has a christmas tree that you can place gifts under for homeless and other less fortunate children. I usually participate in that

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a wonderful idea for a lens - blessed by a SquidAngel!


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