Adopt a Family

More than 3,400 people participated in the 2015 Adopt-a-Family Holiday Wishes program by shopping, donating, sponsoring and volunteering to help make holiday wishes come true for up to 161 local families. Families were enrolled in the program after being referred by a local service provider, United Way affiliate agency partner, local church or school.

We matched each referred family with a sponsoring business, organization, team or group that wanted to share the joy of the season. Sponsoring groups affiliated with Central Michigan University were matched through a partnership with the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center in early November. The coordination of collecting and distributing gifts valued at more than $85,000 was done in a respectful and confidential manner.

Special thanks to the many volunteers who have already stepped up to make it all possible. Working together, we help to ensure that the holidays are happy for ALL families in Isabella County! Questions? Contact  the United Way office at 989-773-9863 for more information.

A few words from some of our adopted families...

"After just overcoming cancer surgery and my husband leaving us, it has not been an easy ride. I did not have any means to get the kids any items this year and you made this all possible for us. Thank you for everything and Merry Christmas to you all." — Family #9

"We are very touched that someone would help give our kids Christmas when we are not able to. We appreciate everything you have done and we will never forget your kindness. We hope one day to do the same for another family." — Family #44

"Thank you cannot even come close to expressing my gratitude for your overwhelming generosity! You have helped to make this one of the best Christmases I think my daughters have ever had. May you be extremely blessed for all you have done, and know that it is appreciated." — Family #139

"As a working single mom of four, the holidays are very tough when it comes to finances. I can't stress enough how your generosity has helped my family." — Family #82

"We will graciously accept our gifts with every intention to pay it forward and help someone else that is in need." — Family #112

"This year has been very tough for us and, without your good heart, my children would not have any gifts. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks again for helping Santa bring joy and laughter into our home and taking the pain out." — Family #30

2015 Timeline:

  • September 14: Referral Registration Opens
  • September 14-October 30 Volunteer Calls to Referred Families
  • October 16: Referral Registration Closes/Sponsor Registration Opens
  • October 30: Family Wish Lists completed by Volunteer Callers
  • November 2-13 Sponsors (CMU) are matched at the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center
  • November 2-13: Sponsors (Community) are matched online through the United Way office
  • November 2-30: Sponsors shop for their adopted families
  • December 8-10: Sponsors drop off gifts at the Adopt-a-Family Operations Center
  • December 15-17: Families pick up gifts from the Adopt-a-Family Operations Center