The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ annual Adopt-a-Family program is finding ways to help struggling families this Christmas despite limitations imposed by COVID-19 in its 31st year. 

More than 500 families in need received gift cards and monetary donations to help with rent and utility costs through the program, organizers said. Some of the program’s big name sponsors this year include Target, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Netflix. 

“For the past 30 years, the Adopt-a-Family program… has brought a ‘magical Christmas’ to the children of Skid Row and the downtown Los Angeles area,” said Msgr. Terrance Fleming, the program’s director. “Neither sleet, nor snow, nor COVID has diminished either the need or the will to deliver this.” 

Since volunteers were not able to conduct door-to-door interviews to identify families in need this year, the program has partnered with outreach centers including the Salesian Family Youth Center, the LAPD Cadet program, and the St. Francis Center to reach families. 

“We're seeing big generosity from people stepping up to help, not just from longtime donors, but from new ones who hear about the program,” said Lydia Gamboa, director of the archdiocesan Mission Office. 

In years past, Adopt-a-Family volunteers would gather at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to pack and deliver food and Christmas gifts. Last year, due to health and safety guidelines during the pandemic, they moved to distributing gift cards and providing rent and utility assistance to families in need. 

To make a donation or learn more about the program, visit