Giving back to families at Christmas

Adopt-a-Family donor Michael Buckberrough relates all too well to some of the hardships facing families during the holiday season. When Michael was six years old, his mother was in a car accident, which left her with severe brain damage. She was admitted to a long-term care facility and Michael’s father had to care for him and his siblings.

“My dad had to raise four kids on his own without any support from the government. He was too proud to ask for help. He should have,” says Michael. “We had our water and heat turned off many times, but at least we always had some food.”

Now, Michael is determined to help other families in need through Hope for Children’s Adopt-a-Family program.

“I believe that charity starts at home and I see lots of need around me,” he says.

For more than 15 years, Adopt-a-Family has supported hundreds of families every Christmas by providing gifts, gift cards and food during the holiday season. These gifts provide families with much-needed relief during what can often be a difficult time of year.

When donors register for the program, they are carefully matched with one or more families depending on the number of families the donor chooses to support. Donors receive a profile for each family they would like to sponsor, along with a special gift list which helps them to personalize their giving. Donors can decide how much they would like to contribute or how many items on the wish list they would like to purchase. Donors are asked to drop off their donations at one of the Adopt-a-Family locations across Toronto and volunteers and staff ensure that the gifts are delivered to families.

Michael runs a car dealership and has also challenged his employees to spread the spirit of Christmas by Adoptinga- Family. To these families Michael is a hero.

He always drops his donations off without wrapping them.

“We don’t wrap the gifts. It’s not about us giving to the kids. It’s about letting the moms and dads give the gifts themselves. When you leave the gifts unwrapped the parents have the joy of wrapping the gifts themselves,” says Michael.

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