“Together we can change the world, one small act of kindness at a time.”

– Ron Hall

The holidays for our families can be especially difficult. Our families come from all different backgrounds and face complicated hardships. The Adopt-A-Family program helps change that. Gifted household and personal items empower our families to excel in their daily lives. Toys provide opportunities for families to bond and children to grow in their own strengths. Each gift brings hope of a brighter future.

This holiday season, 86 community members and local businesses changed the world for 92 of our client families (that’s 384 children and caregivers!) through our Adopt-A-Family program. They’ve given our families hope and shown them that there is a community of people who care about them. We’re so grateful!

Our CEO, Patricia Costales, LCSW, aptly describes our gratitude for this outpouring of support:

“We’re grateful for the exceptional response to our Adopt-A-Family program this year. Knowing that we have so many neighbors and local businesses who support our children and families is reassurance that compassion still thrives in our community.”

All of our supporters have a moving story of why they participated in the Adopt-A-Family program. Each one has inspired us and filled us with such joy.

Before we head out for the holidays, we want to say a special thank you to our donors and share a few of their inspiring stories. We hope it brightens your holidays as much as it has ours!

SHI International Corp.

David Doeum reached out to us earlier this month to participate in Adopt-A-Family for the first time. His team at SHI International Corp. had the opportunity to either plan a staff retreat or give back to their community. They unanimously decided to give back to their community and adopt a family from The Guidance Center. David shares what the experience of adopting a family was like for him:

“We are a close knit team and when we suggested to collectively participate, for me personally it meant a lot.  I know first-hand what it’s like to grow up with very little, raised on welfare, and my parents not really around since they worked long hours in the garment industry. When I was a teen, it was hard to look into the future, but I want to reassure [the children of our adopted family] that things will get better and people do genuinely care. Just keep learning, growing, and pursuing the best version of yourself…the opportunities are out there to lift yourself and family out of a tough situation. I also work with very driven, hard-working women that are great role models for them. I noticed a lot of items [on the children’s wish lists] meant to express themselves and I encourage them to keep doing so!  Keep writing, singing, drawing, and stick together!”

Susan and Brian Adam

For many of our supporters, adopting a Guidance Center family for the holidays has become a part of their family traditions.

Susan and Brian Adam have supported various Guidance Center programs for the past 10 years. Adopt-A-Family is one of those and a part of their holiday traditions as a family.

“It’s an annual holiday tradition that feels more meaningful than shopping for those who have so much already. This year another family also contributed to make it a shared effort.” – Susan Adam

The same goes for the Rosas Family, who have also supported our Adopt-A-Family program from the very beginning.

“It is an annual tradition to Adopt-A-Family.  We are teaching our children the concept of gratitude and giving. We enjoy shopping for the family each year and selecting the perfect gifts!” –Sharon Rosas

Groundwork Fitness

Giovanna Ferraro, owner of Groundwork Fitness in downtown Long Beach, advocates for people experiencing homelessness throughout the year, among other philanthropic efforts. She saw our Adopt-A-Family program as a way to participate in the giving season with her Groundwork Fitness members.

“I am an advocate period, every day. However, I make it a point every holiday season to remind myself of what this time of ‘giving’ means to me. This year I saw The Guidance Center pop up as they facilitate an Adopt-A-Family program,” said Ferraro. “I’m confident in my fitness community here at Groundwork Fitness, we are a strong bunch who have compassion for those in need. I discussed this program with my Groundwork Fitness family and naturally everyone was excited to help. We hope it helps a family feel like they have community love here in Long Beach.”

More messages from our donors about their experience:

Christiane Carter with the gifts for her adopted family

“I decided to adopt a family this year because Christmas is a magical season of love and being able to put a smile on the faces of others in need filled me with great love and joy.  Merry Christmas to all!!!” – Christiane  Carter

“It just felt right. I may not have a lot to give, but if I can help make someone’s holiday more special then I wanted to do that. Christmas is my favorite time of year, it means a lot to me, so I decided to adopt a family this year and I hope to continue in the future.” – Haley Stickler

“Our company has been adopting a family for the last 5 years and we continue to do so because the act of giving is a much better feeling than receiving.  These families are in more need than most of us and it only makes sense to help others when they are in need.” – Anh Do of Robert Half Torrance

“I chose to participate in the adopt a family because I thought it would be nice to bring cheer to a family in need. I wanted to be able to help a family give their children something special on Christmas. My kids are grown and they felt there was not a lot they wanted and they did not need anything. My favorite part was receiving their wish list and trying to find as much as I could from the list.” – Monique Griffie

“I’ve watched this program grow over the years and am so blessed to be able to contribute this year in Tim Sailor and Kevin Howard’s honor. My family and I really wanted to do something special for our adopted family. Shopping and wrapping the gifts for the family was awesome. We absolutely love being part of this! The Guidance Center really gives these families something so special!” – Stephanie Laverty


To all our 2018 Adopt-A-Family donors, we just can’t say thank you enough!