Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Adopt a family

Adopt a family holiday programs around Seattle, 2021

There are so many ways to help make the holidays brighter for local families.

Editor’s note: updated November 2021 

Adopt a family for the holidays. It’s a great way to help out, share your good fortune and teach your kids about generosity.

Some local programs and organizations around Seattle will happily accept your help.

[ See also: How to donate to holiday toy drives ]

Federal Way Cares for kids

This nonprofit serving families in the Federal Way School District calls its program Sponsor Christmas Morning, and it accepts monetary donations via Paypal or Venmo.

Bellevue LifeSpring

This agency has changed its holiday-giving program. Here’s how it works for 2021: Wellspring invites people to “sponsor a student” by providing $300 in gift cards as follows: $100 from the child’s wish list; $100 from a grocery store; $100 gift card to provide clothing essentials. Donated gift cards must be dropped off at LifeSpring by Monday, Dec. 6 (2021), for distribution. LifeSpring works with the Bellevue School District Family Connection Center, which will deliver the gift cards directly to students through a discreet and respectful process.  (Priority to be given to families experiencing homelessness or living in foster care.) Here are details on how to give.

Wellspring Family Services

This Seattle community-service agency has launched its 2021 Giving Together holiday campaign to help families facing homelessness in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. It provides housing, early learning, trauma counseling and more. Wellspring will gladly accept cash donations as well as new clothing and gifts. It also has created wish lists through Amazon and Target, allowing people to shop online and ship gifts directly to Wellspring. They also have tips for hosting a gift drive with family, friends or other groups.


Hopelink, the nonprofit serving families in north and east King County, is holding its annual “Lend a Hoping Hand” holiday campaign this year, asking for cash donations that it will distribute to families in the form of gift cards (rather than soliciting items for its traditional Gift Room.) Here’s how to give to Hopelink.


Treehouse is dedicated to helping kids in the foster-care system. It is not currently accepting donated goods but offers a way to families to host their own holiday collection drives of wish-list items or cash that it can use to buy necessities.


The Forgotten Children’s Fund

Forgotten Children’s Fund volunteers raise funds (here’s how to donate) to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts to kids and their families (in Seattle and beyond) who are in need. They are gearing up for a 2021 operation with COVID precautions and lots of enthusiasm. Here’s how to volunteer at the “North Pole.” FCF’s story, by the way, will melt your heart.


YWCA’s adopt a family program helps more than 1,000 families annually in King and Snohomish counties. For 2021, it’s going to be all gift cards, and it will work like this: Contact with the size of family you’d like to adopt. They’ll find one and give you their information. The gift is to be a $100 grocery gift card for the head of the household, plus two $50 gift cards for each child, to the two stores of their choice. The donation is to be dropped off at the Phillis Wheatley Branch, 2820 E. Cherry St., Seattle, on Dec. 3, 9 or 10 or put in the mail by Dec. 8.


More ways to put heart in your holidays:

Places your family can volunteer during the holidays, or anytime

5 simple ways to teach kids the volunteering spirit