It’s that time of year again.
Surveys by RetailMeNot, an online coupon site that tracks shopping trends, reveal consumers have gotten an earlier-than-usual start on their holiday shopping this year and are working with lower budgets. Roughly half the respondents said they’re buying less this year due to rising inflation.
There’s no getting around it: times are tough. And this holiday season is going to be harder for some households than others.
If you’re finding yourself in a position to be able to buy a few more things this holiday season, here are a few ways you can shop for Hoosier families in need.
Jewish Family Services Adopt-a-Family
What: The Jewish Family Services Adopt-A-Family program serves local Jewish households in need during Hanukkah. In 2021, the program served 77 families with the help of 819 community members. There are several ways to get involved:
- Go online to adopt a family and shop based on their provided wish list. When dropping off donated gifts, please include all gift receipts and place the gifts in a bag labeled with your family’s identification number.
- Volunteer to help wrap gifts during the Dec. 4 Community Day event, held at the JCC Indianapolis’ Laikin Auditorium (6701 Hoover Road).
- Purchase gift cards and drop them off at Jewish Family Services.
- Make a financial contribution.
Those interested in shopping can do so individually or as a team. It’s recommended donors spend at least $100 per person, per family.
When: Drop the items off at Jewish Family Services (6905 Hoover Road) before December 9 or at the agency’s Community Day, 1-3 p.m., Dec. 4, at the JCC.
What: Coburn Place provides housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children. One way to help is to host a donation drive within your community — friends groups, coworkers, family — for themed items, such as toiletries or household supplies, or for gifts. You can also shop via the agency’s Amazon wish list: amzn.to/3h9x1es. To see a list of generally accepted items, visit coburnplace.org/donate.
When: Holiday gifts must be delivered or dropped off by Dec. 16, and general donations should be received by Dec. 20.
Get involved: Online donations can be shipped to the agency, Coburn Place, ATTN: Drew LaCroix, 604 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, IN 46205.
Email email@example.com to schedule a drop-off and to learn more about the current, most urgent needs. For security purposes, you must schedule a time to drop off donations.
Kids’ Voice of Indiana
What: Kids’ Voice provides court-appointed advocacy services for Marion County youth affected by the justice or family welfare systems. This year, the agency’s staff and volunteers will combine gifts and holiday donations to create the Holiday Gift Shop. Gifts will them be delivered to families and children in need.
Gift cards can be sent in increments of $20 to the Kids’ Voice office, 615 N. Alabama St., Suite 200, or gifts can be purchased from the Amazon wish list: amzn.to/3FGVp1j.
When: Gifts and donations should be received by the agency by Dec. 6.
Get involved: To donate, visit kidsvoicein.org/donations. To volunteer or to seek more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree
What: Each year, the Salvation Army connects donors with “angels,” or children in need, to ensure they get personalized gifts for the holidays. These children can be adopted before Dec. 4 by visiting bit.ly/3NuTAX7, clicking “adopt now” and following the prompts. You’ll be able to select a child’s gender or age (if you have a preference) and learn more about them, including items they need, such as shoes and clothing, and a gift they’d like to have. Shoppers should expect to spend a minimum of $100 on gifts, including two or three stocking stuffers.
When: Gifts should be dropped off at one of the following locations by Dec. 6:
- Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eagle Creek Corps Community Center, 4400 N. High School Road, or the Fountain Square Corps Community Center, 1337 Shelby St.
- Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at The Salvation Army Indiana Divisional Headquarters 6060 Castleway West Drive.
Get involved: To learn more about the program or to adopt an angel, visit bit.ly/3NuTAX7.
What: La Plaza, which provides support to Latino youth and families, assists families in need during the holidays by connecting them with individual or group sponsors. They work with the families to create wish lists with the names, ages and gift requests of children and adults in each family. Sponsors are welcome to do the shopping and wrapping and can drop off gifts to La Plaza (8902 E. 38th St.) or coordinate to drop off toys directly to the family. Alternatively, sponsors can make a financial contribution and La Plaza will shop and wrap gifts. A family of four can be sponsored for about $500.
When: Sponsors are matched with families mid-November.
The Villages of Indiana
What: The Villages is one of the state’s largest nonprofit child services agency, with offices across the state. There are several ways you can help families and children this year:
- Shop or host a holiday gift drive for children, from infants to teens, via the agency’s Amazon wish lists: amzn.to/3WvYvek.
- Sponsor a kinship care family — which includes children cared for by family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or siblings — by providing gifts for the entire family. The suggested spend is about $100 per family.
- Sponsor older youth aging out of foster care by buying gifts like gift cards (suggested retailers are Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Kohls, Amazon or Starbucks), perfume and cologne, electronics, fleece blankets and/or household items. You can view the agency’s older youth wish list and ship gifts directly to offices throughout the state: amzn.to/3zIVxJH.
When: New, unwrapped gifts must be dropped off or delivered to the agency’s Indianapolis headquarters, 3833 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208, by Dec. 9.
Get involved: To learn more about ways to give or to sign up to sponsor a kinship care family, visit villageskids.org/spiritofgiving22.
Westminster Neighborhood Services Christmas Baskets
What: Westminster Neighborhood Services provides aid to a small, but high-need, area of the city’s east side, where over 40% of residents live below the poverty level and over 20% live with annual incomes of less than $10,000. There are a few ways you can help the families they serve:
- You can shop for gifts to include in the Christmas baskets. Each gift request will include a child’s name, age, gender, pant and shoe sizes as well as a toy or gift they’re hoping for this year. The agency asks that, in addition to the gift requests, donors purchase a winter hat, gloves, socks and underwear. Please keep the gifts to $25 or under.
- Volunteers are needed to help assemble the baskets from Dec. 5-10.
When: Gifts must be dropped off at the agency, 2325 E. New York St., by Dec. 2.
HVAF of Indiana
What: Helping Veterans and Families works to provide those they serve with housing stability and resources, with the goal of eliminating veteran homelessness. HVAF will coordinate with interested donors to match them with families based on size and wish lists. Shoppers should expect to spend about $100 per family member.
When: Gifts must be dropped off by Dec. 16 at the HVAF headquarters, 964 N. Pennsylvania St.
Get involved: Those interested in adopting a family should contact Andrea Carlile, community engagement coordinator, at email@example.com or 765-425-3366.
What: Volunteers and staff of the agency, which serves Hoosier children and adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities and their families, will meet at a southwest-side Meijer (10509 Heartland Boulevard) to pick out and wrap gifts for the 200 children who call Damar home. The gifts are purchased with donated funds and given to children served by the agency throughout the holiday season. Volunteers are encouraged to wear their most festive outfits for the occasion.
When: Dec. 6-7, with volunteer openings both days from 3-4:30 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.
Get involved: To register as a volunteer, visit bit.ly/3NAe3tK.
The Damien Center
What: The state’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization has a few ways you can help clients and their families:
- Damien Center will be assembling food boxes for families and individuals in need. You can purchase a whole box for $30 or purchase a few items off this Amazon wish list: amzn.to/3h6hc8d.
- Shop for an individual or family off of a provided wish list. Gifts can be wrapped or unwrapped when returned to the Damien Center office, 26 N. Arsenal Ave.
When: Clients will receive their food boxes and gifts Dec. 15.
Get involved: If you’re interested in sponsoring a client or family, contact Annie Nelson, client and family enrichment manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.