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All Hopkins faculty, staff, students, and retirees are invited to help brighten the holidays for families, seniors, and adults with disabilities facing hardships. The Office of Work, Life and Engagement partners with local nonprofit and social service agencies to provide gifts, clothing, and grocery gift cards to families and individuals who are in need of assistance during the holiday season. 

Individuals and groups interested in adopting a family or senior should complete the online registration form no later than Friday, December 9.

Program Description

The holiday season can be a difficult time for children with absentee parents, individuals who have been displaced from their homes as a result of domestic violence or unemployment, low-income and homebound seniors, military families, and others in the community who are facing hardships. The Adopt-a-Family/ Adopt-a-Senior Program helps make the holiday season brighter for those in need and provides families and individuals with gifts, clothing, and grocery gift cards that they may not otherwise receive or be able to afford.

For more information, email or call 443-997-7000.

If you are in need of assistance, please contact your local social services agency or Maryland 2-1-1.

If you are not affiliated with Johns Hopkins and would still like to receive information on how you can help families and/or seniors in your area, please contact a local social services agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who receives help through the Johns Hopkins Adopt-a-Family/Adopt-a-Senior program?

We partner with local agencies that serve families and seniors who are facing a bleak holiday season due to a variety of circumstances. Previously adopted families and individuals have included teen mothers of young children, children of incarcerated parents, women and children displaced due to domestic violence, seniors, and adults with disabilities who are unable to pay bills and afford personal items.


Which Hopkins affiliates participate in the program?

All Hopkins affiliates are invited to adopt a family or senior for the holidays. Many employees participate as a department-wide activity, and other Hopkins donors use this as an opportunity to model for their loved ones the joys of giving to those less fortunate.


How are the donors matched with the families and seniors?

Donors may request to adopt a family and/or a senior.  During the online registration process, donors will have the opportunity to request a specific family size, gender of adopted individual(s), etc.  Although we cannot guarantee an exact match, we will make an effort to accommodate donor requests.


Will I get to meet the adopted family or senior?

Due to the rules of confidentiality, only a limited number of families and seniors can receive their gifts directly from donors. Donors have the opportunity to deliver the gifts to the partnering agencies.


Why do Hopkins employees say they participate?

Michael Bernard of Mechanical Engineering participates because "Most of us have our material needs and wants met easily. We don’t give a second thought about what it would be like to have to struggle to find resources to pay rent, buy food and clothing, and care for our families. Giving gifts to an adopted family who faces these dire struggles is the very least that we can do to offer a helping hand and bring joy to our neighbors who don’t have as easy a life as most of us.  It’s a very small way to express our gratitude for what most of us take for granted."


Can I still participate if I cannot personally deliver the gifts?

Yes! Donors are able to request that the gifts be picked up from their Hopkins office on in December. Please note: due to the large amount of pick-up requests, gifts that are not scheduled for pick-up on the designated days must be delivered to the sponsoring agency at a pre-arranged time, by the donor, on or before December 16. At this time, we can offer gift pick-up to Hopkins campuses in the Baltimore area.


Should the gifts be new?

Yes, any items given to the adopted families and individuals must be new.

Updated 10/13/2016