The Community Assistance Center (CAC) has opened its Adopt-a-Family portal for the 2022 holiday season. The portal provides profiles on the 1,400+ children in the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs area whose families have demonstrated a need for help with gifts for the holidays. Individuals, groups, congregations, and corporations are encouraged to browse through information on available families and ‘adopt’ them, committing to providing holiday gifts for those children. CAC expects more than 1,600 children to participate in the program before the year ends.

“The impact of the Adopt-a-Family program cannot be understated,” asserts Francis K. Horton III, CEO of CAC. “For the children in this program, this may be the only luxury they experience this holiday season. We are proud of how our Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities care for our younger neighbors every year by selecting families, giving gifts, and providing monetary donations to fill the gaps.” In 2021, donors provided gifts for over 1,500 children from hundreds of local households, with the average amount spent per child numbering in the $75-100 range.

“This program is a logistical puzzle that is extremely rewarding,” shares Christina Kennett, Youth Programs Coordinator at CAC. Each family registers with CAC and provides documentation to show their level of need to qualify for the program, ensuring that the aid goes to those who need it the most. “We work extremely hard to make sure every child from every family receives something they’d like. The holidays should be about joy and family, and the Adopt-a-Family program makes that happen for our community’s children in need,” Kennett continues. The portal displays each child’s gender, age, and preferences, allowing for a gift that acknowledges the child as an individual. The Adopt-a-Family portal was built pro bono for CAC’s use by CJ Sutherland of Atomic Marshmallow Web Design.

“Participating in the CAC Adopt-a-Family program was a great opportunity for our team to give back and spend some time together during the holidays,” shares Kat Dawson, Account Manager at Cisco Systems and 2021 Adopt-a-Family program participant. Last year, Dawson and a group of coworkers pooled resources and ‘adopted’ 50 children from a dozen families. “It was really fun to meet up at the office and pack the presents together to deliver them to the CAC office,” she continues.

In addition to adopting a family, many donate their time to organize and distribute the gifts. Volunteer opportunities are available in November and December for individuals and small groups. Together, CAC and community members will help hundreds of children celebrate the holidays before the end of the year.

See photos from last year’s Adopt-a-Family program: