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Sponsor a family this holiday season through the Family Sponsorship Program

The upcoming holiday season can add extra stress for community members who are struggling financially or with family circumstances. Volunteer Services is coordinating the annual Family Sponsorship Program that matches community sponsors with families in need during the holiday season. The program has served 5,639 residents since 2003.

The program helps families who are receiving Ramsey County social services and are identified by social workers as needing extra help to provide food and gifts during the holiday season. Children in these families have often experienced varying degrees of abuse or neglect or have developmental or other disabilities. Some families are refugees, while others are single parents or grandparents just getting by to provide necessities for the children in their care.

Families, individuals, groups and work teams are invited to sponsor a family this holiday season. The Family Sponsorship Program is not simply a cash donation program; sponsors personally shop and wrap gifts for their matched family.

Committed sponsors will be assigned a family by mid- to late-November, based on the estimated number of participants. Social workers provide sponsors with the first names, ages and wish lists for each individual in the family assigned to them. Gifts are collected by social workers and then delivered to the families.

Sponsors make a commitment to provide a family with at least:

  • One clothing item per child.
  • One toy per child.
  • One parent gift.
  • One grocery gift certificate for the family.

A budget of $30 to $50 per family member is recommended.

After the gifts are delivered, sponsors will receive thank you notes from their families.

If you are interested in sponsoring a family during the upcoming holiday season, please contact Volunteer Services by Friday, Nov. 2 at 651-266-4090, or e-mail

The cost of the sponsorship is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donation receipts for tax purposes can be provided upon request.

Posted on Friday, October 20, 2017 - 5:09 p.m.