Adopt-a-Family Program rewards learning, spreads smiles.
Community groups and individuals will get a chance to brighten the holiday season for local children as Single Mothers Outreach of Santa Clarita once again hosts the Adopt-a-Family program.
Adopt-a-Family is one of SMO’s Inspire programs, designed as a reward for families taking steps toward self-sustainability by enrolling in college or graduate school, attending SMO workshops, or graduating from the Financial Peace University program offered through SMO. In addition, applicant families agree not to enroll in other holiday gift programs.
“It’s a way that our community can help brighten the holiday season for some needy families. These are people we know and we’ve invested in, a lot are students that are in school and are struggling … This is our opportunity as a community to help these families that are moving forward in their lives in every sense of the word, but just don’t have enough to provide a really nice holiday for their children. It’s a way for us to make that happen for them,” said Executive Director DaAnne Smith.
Families must apply to receive gifts by October 15, and the gifts will be delivered during the second week of December. So far this year, 60 families have applied. During last year’s program, 89 families were adopted by PTA groups, civic organizations, city departments, families, and even a neighborhood.
The all-volunteer SMO staff currently serves 187 families. These families receive both material and educational support and can learn career and personal management skills through the organization’s workshops. Graduates of the workshops and programs often return for a refresher course or to help teach others.
Self-sustainability is key to the SMO mission. Whether or not they can provide material support to families, they are always prepared to provide information and education. Smith says the goal is more to “teach people to fish” rather than simply provide for current needs.
“Generally, if you teach a woman, she not only learns for herself, she also teaches her children too,” said Smith. “So you have a lot of multiplier effect there. We encourage our moms to bring their kids to these classes so they get the benefit of what their mother is learning.”