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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.

This holiday season we are partnering with Family and Children Services of Central Maryland, Infinity Stern, and Project PLASE. The Johns Hopkins Adopt-a-Family / Adopt-a-Senior program is a charitable activity for faculty, staff, students, and retirees of all Hopkins entities and locations.

Enjoy this short video to see the smiles, gifts, and healthy holiday meals of 2013.

How to Participate

Registration for the Adopt-a-Family/Adopt-a-Senior Program is open. Please complete the registration form by December 12, 2014.

Details on the specific needs of families and seniors are available to individuals and departments that sign up to participate. After submitting the completed registration form, please allow 3-5 business days to receive your adopted family or senior gift wish lists.

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.


2013 Impact Report

During the 2013 holiday season, more than 125 donors affiliated with Johns Hopkins generously adopted a recording-breaking 176 families, senior citizens, and adults with disabilities, totaling more than 400 individuals.

Expressions of thanks from adopted families, seniors, and sponsored agencies:

  • OMG, I was so happy I cried. Thank you.
  • You are pure gold! Thank you. Your kindness really made a difference! Our residents are very grateful!
  • Your kindness made a child squeal!
  • You bought me a tablet and it was pink and I’ve always wanted one and I got one. You made my Christmas the best Christmas.
  • This is very nice of you guys to do this for me.
  • Thank you so much… it was a good feeling knowing that someone cares for us.

2013 Community Impact Report

Updated 10/20/2014