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Poverty & Equity Thought Leadership

Giving Back this Holiday Season

“This year I’m thankful for my kids because they are healthy and also because we as a family have a roof over our heads. This year has been very difficult because of COVID but we have overcome a lot as a family,” shared Aileenayala, a Families First CHISPA client at a recent Thanksgiving event. 

The Families First Adopt-A-Family, in partnership this year with Macy’s, helps families like Aileenayala’s enjoy the holiday season with their families. Aileenayala is part of the Families First CHISPA program which is one of the ways Families First supports our clients at various points across the continuum of care including adoption, foster care, parenting, mental and behavioral health, supportive housing, and healthy starts for kids. In Spanish, “CHISPA” means “spark.” CHISPA, specifically for the Spanish-speaking community in Gwinnett County, focuses on early childhood education with bilingual parent educators who visit parents and children ages 0 – 5 years old in their homes and provide parent leadership training as well as school transition and literacy activities. Each of our CHISPA families received a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy through the Adopt-A-Family Thanksgiving program.

“Macy’s is committed to giving back and being there for the community in times of need. This unprecedented time has brought challenges to many families in the communities Macy’s colleagues live and work,” said Kelli Lewis, Director, Corporate Giving of Macy’s. “From a holiday meal to gifts under the tree, partnering with Families First gives us the chance to connect with our neighbors and help them enjoy the holiday season.”

For more than 132 years, Families First has served the local community and beyond, and today is focused on building resilient families and communities. Our two-generation approach is grounded in strengthening resilience so that families can better cope with the stresses of everyday life and have the tools and resources to pick themselves back up when life’s challenges come their way.

The holidays can be especially hard for many of the families we serve, and our Adopt-A-Family program is one way we can help spread holiday joy in our community. This year, the Families First Adopt-A-Family in partnership with Macy’s is making the lives of our families a little brighter by helping more than 500 families in metro Atlanta between Thanksgiving and the New Year. For Thanksgiving, participating families are receiving nonperishable items and gift cards to create delicious meals to enjoy together in their homes. During the Christmas holidays, those adopting families get a wish list of the items requested by both parents and children, which often have a toy listed but also basic needs such as winter coats, shoes, pots, and pans. Senior Citizens without an income are also up for adoption, making such simple requests as a box fan, socks, and extension cords. Items that most of us purchase without a thought, are what they are hoping at Christmas to enjoy “comforts” that a lot of people take for granted. 

“Families First is so thankful for Macy’s support of Adopt-A-Family and helping us spread holiday joy and cheer. This year we are serving more than 100 additional families thanks to the support of Macy’s and our donors,” said DePriest Waddy, CEO of Families First. “The last 18 months have hit our families hard and it is heartwarming to see our community come together to support our families. Just last week one of our team members spent time with a local Brownie Troop where the girls were earning their Philanthropy Badges by participating in Adopt-A-Family. From individuals to community groups like the Girl Scouts to corporate support, it takes all of us to help spread holiday cheer.” 

In addition to Families First’s clients, Adopt-A-Family connects with community organizations to help their families including Raising Expectations, Connecting Communities & Families, Westside Works/Atlanta CareerRise and Crossroads Community Ministries

You can join Macy’s and Families First this holiday season to help our families enjoy the holidays! Our Adopt-A-Family helps bring holiday smiles and joy into the homes of our families! Join us today as a wish maker: Families First Donation Drives (roonga.com).


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