Adopt-A-Family Christmas

AAF logo

Designed to help disadvantaged families and individuals Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas enjoy the Christmas holidays, the Adopt-A-Family program is designed to match needy families and individuals (Adoptee) with families, groups and organizations (Adopter) that are willing to help so everyone can enjoy the Christmas holidays. As a result, the program lessens the possibility of families spending their limited incomes on Christmas rather than basic living expenses or going without any form of Christmas.

Program dates

Adopt-A- Family typically runs from November 1 to December 24, with the majority of program activity occurring in an 8-week period. 

the basics

  • Anyone can apply to be adopted. There are no financial boundaries or eligibility requirements.
  • The adopter chooses whom they adopt. Adopters can select as many individuals or families as they would like. They determine what and how much they give.
  •  Adopters have many options to choose from, including shopping for gifts, purchasing food baskets and gift cards, donating items to the gift room, or making monetary donations. 
  • Some adoptees become adopters. It is not unusual for adults who were adopted as children to come back and adopt later in life. They give back to thank those who helped them. 
  • Our agency acts as a clearinghouse for all Christmas assistance offered in Buchanan and surrounding counties. This is coordinated with other programs, schools and churches to eliminate duplication of adoptions in the area.  
  • Of the 724 families that completed the application process, 273 households had $0 income. The majority, 89 percent (647 families) are at 100 percent or below poverty guidelines.
  • In 2021, the program served 724 families, consisting of 2,198 individuals. This included 887 adults, 168 seniors and 1,143 children.



Adopters have many options to choose from for providing for the families they choose to help, including shopping for gifts, purchasing food vouchers and gift cards, donating new items to the Gift Room, or making monetary donations. Adopters choose which families they would like to help and if they would like to meet the adopted family or remain anonymous. All the decisions are up to the adopter.

To make this Christmas miracle happen, the agency needs adopters and donations. If you are interested in learning how to adopt an individual or family just press “How to Adopt”.

Adopters have a variety of options. Families with children, adult individuals, senior citizens or multi-generation families are available and adopters can select as many families as they would like. Once families are selected, info sheets include clothing, shoe sizes and other items on each family member’s wish list, is provided to the adopter. Reviews can be done by email, fax, at our office or by mail. Families will be available for review starting Wednesday, November 16. After reviewing, adopters should notify the agency which family(ies) they would like to adopt.

If adopting a family with children, we ask adopters to provide NEW gifts for each child. If adopting a young child, preferably one gift would be a toy. Gifts for the parents are at the adopter’s discretion. Family holiday food vouchers are also available. (Please note on the application if the family requested food.) If adopting an individual or a senior citizen, we ask the adopter to provide either a gift or food. Adopters determine how much more they would like to provide.

Adopters have the option of giving gifts, gift certificates and/or holiday food basket vouchers. If gifts – adopters shop for the gifts. (Wrapping gifts is optional.) If giving gift certificates or holiday food vouchers – they can be purchased privately by you or through our agency. Our agency will have holiday food vouchers available throughout the 2022 program for $60-$80 each. A food voucher provides traditional Christmas dinner food items. 

You are welcome to make contact with the family to let them know of the adoption. They should be able to provide any additional information needed. It is also good to set a time and date for delivering gifts.

Adopters can also choose to remain anonymous. If adopters choose anonymity, gifts should be delivered to our agency no later than Friday, December 9. Our staff will contact the family to make delivery arrangements.

If you would like to make your selection in person, please visit our office from 9 am to 5 pm beginning Wednesday, November 16. (If you intend to make your selection in person, DO NOT SUBMIT THE FORM ON THIS WEBSITE.) If you would like to make the selection in person, you can print the Adopter Information form from here and bring it with you to the agency. If you prefer to submit your form digitally, please complete the adoption form below. Upon receipt, agency staff will send you a variety of information sheets to review.

Thank you for your interest and ongoing support of our Adopt-A-Family program.



If you live in Northwest Missouri or Northeast Kansas and your family would like to receive help this season, just press "How to be Adopted."  Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 2, 2022.

After completing the application, come back to this page. All applicants are required to pay a processing fee. If you would like to submit your application online, pay the $3 processing fee by clicking the "DONATE" button below. Applicants can also print the application and bring it, along with a $2 processing fee, to the agency. (Online processing fees include non-agency associated fees from the payment processor.)

Please return your finished application to the agency either by completing and submitting the online form, submitting a completed application via email at or by delivering it to the office at 1203 N 6th St, St. Joseph, MO. Please indicate in the email if you will be paying your processing fee through PayPal or in person. If your PayPal payment is going to be made under another name, please provide that name the payment will be made under in the email as well.

If you live in Northwest Missouri or Northeast Kansas and your family would like to receive help this season:

  • Applications are available three ways:
    • Applicants can us the fillable form found on this website. (Be sure to return to the main Adopt-A-Family page to pay the processing fee; your application will NOT be processed until the fee is paid.)
    • Applicants can print applications here and either submit through email at or bring a physical copy to the agency. 
    • Paper applications can be picked up at the office, located at 1203 N 6th St. in St. Joseph. (We are located in the white metal building, with green trim, on the east side of the street.) No applications will be available at the office November 24th or 25th.
  • Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 2, 2022.
  • Phone applications are limited, and ONLY for those who cannot apply online or are unable to stop by or send someone to our office. Acceptable reasons for phone applications are determined at staff’s discretion.
  • You may be asked to provide the documentation listed below. All documents must be for current or previous month.
    • Social Security cards for each member of household
    • Proof of all income – TANF, child support, SSI, social security, and/or earned wages, etc.
    • Utility bills – lights, gas, water, phone, sewer, trash, etc.
    • All other expenses – food, credit cards, prescriptions, etc.
    • Rent or mortgage receipt showing your name and address, and your landlord/mortgage company’s name and phone number
  • For any Spanish-speaking individuals, phone applications will be taken by appointment only. Call Maria at 408.796.9512 to make an appointment.
  • After the application has been returned, agency staff will call applicants to complete their application. APPLICATIONS are NOT complete until applicants have heard back from agency staff. All applicants need to be sure to answer any unknown calls they many receive as it could be agency staff calling to complete their application.

Applicants should complete the application and return it to the agency NO LATER THAN Friday, December 2nd.


If you have a very busy holiday season and would like to support our efforts, but just don’t have time to shop, then consider making a financial contribution to Adopt-A-Family. Donations are used to purchase gift certificates to be given to those families who are not chosen by an adopter and toward purchasing food vouchers that provide all the fixings for a Christmas dinner. The agency is also accepting donations of new toys and personal gifts for all ages for their gift room for un-adopted kids and families. To donate click the button below.


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