Christmas Baskets

Each December we provide Christmas baskets filled with the makings of a holiday dinner to needy families in the Rochester area. Our recipient families are designated by the local schools where we have tutoring programs, and by the RAIHN organization for homeless families. Your Christmas experience can deepen and become more meaningful by adopting a family to provide a Christmas basket full of food. “Adopting a family” means:

  • Shopping for the food (expense to you: approximately $40)
  • Packing the boxes
  • Delivering the food to the family, usually on the Saturday before Christmas

When you sign up to help, we will send you a letter in early December with all of the detailed information you will need about your designated family, suggested foods to include, delivery instructions, and more.

Want to help? Sign Up to “Adopt-A-Family”

To sign up to donate, purchase, and deliver to your Adopt A Family, use the Online Sign Up.

Christmas Baskets FAQ

What is the timeline for signing up for and delivering Christmas Baskets?

  • November: Volunteer families sign up ONLINE
  • Early December:Family Assignments mailed out
  • Mid-December:Families purchase food and deliver food on December 12, 2020

How will I know what to do?

When you sign up to help, we will send you a letter in early December with all of the detailed information you will need about your designated family, suggested foods to include in the basket, a letter to the recipient family from Third Church, delivery instructions, and a gift card. Donor families should plan to purchase food during the following two weeks and to deliver the food on December 12, 2020 between 1 and 5pm. Each recipient family will have received a postcard asking them to be home on that day, and they will also have received a reminder phone call.  It is a good idea to contact the family by phone a few days ahead to arrange for safe delivery and determine family preferences.

How much will this cost?

We ask all Donor/Deliverers to spend about $45 on food.  Do not buy meat.  The Aldi gift card provided will allow the family to do that themselves.  $45 is the estimated cost for a small family.  This amount is the estimated cost for a small family. For medium, large, and extra-large families, we will reimburse your costs over $45 as follows;

  • Small family: spend approximately $45. (No re-imbursement)
  • Medium family: spend approximately $65 (Reimbursed up to $20)
  • Large family: spend approximately $80 (Reimbursed up to $35)
  • Extra-Large family: spend approximately $95 ( Reimbursed up to $50)

How will I know where the family lives?

In the mail, you will receive a Family Sheet. At the bottom of the sheet will be the name, address, phone number and the number of people in the family.

How will we know what and how much food to purchase?

At the top of the Family Sheet, there is a suggested grocery list for a small, medium, large and extra- large family. The size of your family will be designated on the sheet. You may request a particular size family, and we will do our best to honor that request. However, we don’t always know how many of each size family we will be requested to help.

Can I change the list of suggested foods?

Yes. However, we have tried to suggest a balanced diet to last for several days.

Should we purchase a turkey or other meat when we are filling our box(es.)

No. You will be sent a gift card in the mail with instructions to staple it to the Christmas letter from Third Church.

Should we include gifts for the children in the family?

We do not ask you to give gifts and the families have been told not to expect this. However, the schools have included the age and sex of each child. If you want to include a gift, books are always appropriate.

When should I plan to deliver the food?

Saturday, December 12, 2020 between 1 and 5pm.

How do the families know when we are coming to deliver the food?

You, the sponsor family, call the family a day or two before delivery to make sure they will be home and arrange a time for the delivery. Please contact Otto if you are unable to make contact with the family.

I spoke with my family and they cannot be there on the Saturday delivery date. What should I do?

Work schedules or appointments sometimes make it impossible for them to be there on Saturday. Please arrange an alternate time with them.

When I went to the address, there was no one there. What should I do?

We know that this is a disappointing situation and we have done all we can to avoid it. We suggest that, if possible, you try to call the family and make arrangements to come the next day. If you unable to make arrangements for the food delivery, please call Otto who will contact the appropriate school and or RAIHN and determine if there is a way to get the food to the family. (If arrangements cannot be made, the food may be donated to the Third Church food cupboard.)