Adopt-A-Family FAQ

New this year: Holiday Gift Boxes! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re making some changes this year to keep donors, staff, and those we serve healthy and safe.


Q: What is Adopt-A-Family?

A:  Thank you for your interest in Avivo’s Adopt-A-Family Holiday Gift Giving Program. Historically, this program has matched donors with specific families and they purchased requested gifts for each family member. This year, for various reasons related to the pandemic, we are asking donors to instead sponsor a family by purchasing a Holiday Gift Box which includes gifts that can be used within any family.


Q: What is a Holiday Gift Box?

A: Holiday gift boxes contain more general gifts for the whole family. There are three options: small, medium, and large boxes. See what is in each box here.


Q: Who receives the Holiday Gift Boxes?

A: The families who receive a Holiday Gift Box are low-income families currently participating in Avivo programs including employment, training, chemical health, mental health or housing services.


Q: Who can participate as a donor?

A: Adopting or sponsoring a family for the holidays is a great opportunity for individuals, families, faith groups, groups of friends, and businesses.


Q: How do I get involved?

A: Contact Rebecca Bedner-Faris if you have more questions or would like to sign up as a donor for this program! We are asking all donors to complete our online registration form to get started (you must contact Rebecca to receive the link for the online registration form). Once you complete the form, Rebecca will follow up with you to confirm your registration and drop off location site.


Q: When can I start shopping? 

A: You can start shopping now!  We do ask donors to wait to drop off boxes until our drop off week, December 7-11 at various Avivo locations.


Q: How do I know what to buy and how much to spend?

A: Check out the three Holiday Gift Box options. We provide the ideas for the boxes, but we want you to add your own personal touch! We hope to make this program equitable, so we ask donors to try to stick close to the spending amount guidelines for each box.


Q: I have some used items that I would like to donate. Will you take them?

A: We do request that all gifts be new items. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept used gifts at this time.


Q: When and where do I drop off my box(es)?

A: Donors will drop off their box(es) at an Avivo location December 7-11 from 8AM-5PM. Holiday Gift Boxes will be accepted at various Avivo locations in Minneapolis, Roseville and Mendota Heights. Other directions about gift delivery will be sent out in late November.


Q: Should I include a gift receipt?

A: Sponsors are encouraged to include gift receipts in case an exchange is necessary.


Q: Do I wrap the presents?

A: No! New this year, please do not wrap the gifts. Please put all of your items in a box, preferably one that can be closed on top. The presents and boxes do not have to be physically big to make an impact. It is okay to buy smaller items to fit in a smaller box.


Q: What if I have multiple boxes?

A: Please mark your boxes as Small, Medium or Large. This will help us better distribute the boxes to the families we serve. 


Q: What if I sign up to sponsor but something comes up and I can’t anymore?

A: Please contact Rebecca Bedner-Faris  ASAP if unable to fulfill the sponsorship commitment.


Q: Can I meet the family I sponsor?

A: We are not able to schedule meetings between families and donors due to confidentiality protections.


Q: How do the gifts get to the families?

A: Once we have received the gifts from you, they are distributed to program staff who then distribute the gifts to families.  Often this occurs during a regularly scheduled family appointment or holiday event within the program.


Q: Is this tax-deductible? Can we get a receipt?

A: Yes, you will receive an acknowledgement letter including a tax receipt. Avivo is a 501c3 nonprofit which makes your donation tax-deductible. Avivo is not authorized to place a value on your contributed goods therefore we encourage you to keep receipts for tax purposes. Note: If you are part of a group sponsoring a family and additional members of your group would like a tax receipt, we will collect their names and addresses at a later date.


Q: Can an Avivo representative join a meeting or group virtually to talk about Adopt-A-Family and Avivo?

A: YES! Please contact Rebecca Bedner-Faris by email to arrange a time for an Avivo representative to join your group virtually and present information about this opportunity and Avivo.

If you’d like to get involved or have additional questions, contact Rebecca Bedner-Faris at Thank you for your generous support!