Due to the pandemic, this year the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Adopt-a-Family program will replace its in-person, volunteer-based gift and food distribution to underserved families in Skid Row and Downtown LA with distribution of gift cards to more than 500 families through different organizations that serve the families.
The effort was possible through donations from Homeboy Industries, St. Anne’s Center, Los Angeles Police Department and the Knights of Columbus, among others.
“For the past 30 years, the Adopt-a-Family Program at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels has brought a ‘magical Christmas’ to the children of Skid Row and the Downtown Los Angeles area,” said Msgr. Terrance Fleming, executive director of the Archdiocese’s mission office.
“Neither sleet nor snow or COVID has diminished either the need or the ‘will’ to deliver this. Instead of boxes of groceries and toys, this year it is gift cards. I am overwhelmed of the generosity of our donors and very thankful for all who help carry out this dream.”
Every year, the Archdiocese’s Mission Office gathers nearly 1,000 volunteers of all ages at the Cathedral of the Lady of the Angels to hand-deliver donated food and Christmas gifts, including toys, houseware, clothing and school supplies, to hundreds of underserved families in Downtown LA and the Skid Row area, serving more than 1,230 children annually. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the annual program had to adjust to the guidelines established by the Archdiocese and state and local public health authorities.
In addition, the Knights of Columbus donated 200 coats for boys and girls.
“We, as members of the Knights of Columbus, work hard every day to support our church, our community and our clergy,” said Stephen E. Bolton, state deputy of the California State Council of the Knights of Columbus.
“We also have a new motto, ‘Leave no neighbor behind.’ We hope and pray that these Knights of Columbus coats will put a smile on a young person’s face in one of our local parishes and maybe he or she will remember that the Knights of Columbus were there for them during the Christmas season in 2020.”
Adopt-a-Family was created in December 1990 to serve the needs of families who were outside of the help of government programs or other charitable programs. Many of this year’s recipient families continue to be underserved and lack the means to offer a dignifying Christmas celebration to their children.