Help Make Someone’s Christmas MemorableEach holiday season, The Salvation Army in Manatee County operates the Adopt-A-Family to assist local, qualified, families in need with holiday presents for children ages 12 and under. How it works
To participate in the Adopt-A-Family program, register online or contact the program, coordinator. Once registered, you will receive a request form that will help match you to a family in need. You can select the number of children and/or the age ranges you prefer to adopt. You will receive basic information on the children in the family to help guide you when you make your gift purchases.
Finally, you will be given detailed information on when and where to drop off your presents.
More questions? Please feel free to browse our list of frequently asked questions or call 941-748-5110 for more information.
How much money should I spend? You decide what budget will work for you or your group and then determine if it is best to adopt a family with one child, a small family or a larger family. We request that all gifts are new and that the total of gifts per child does not exceed $50.
What type of items should I purchase? We supply you with the child’s name, gender, race, clothing and shoe sizes, as well as three gift wishes. You may purchase whatever you wish; we ask that you provide a minimum of 3 new gifts for each child you adopt. We discourage bikes. expensive video games and gift cards.
Should I wrap the gifts? No, gifts should be unwrapped for several reasons. We want to ensure gifts are new and unused, safe (no knives, guns or violent toys, please), and age/gender appropriate (G and PG-rated movies, for example). Also, this gives the parent(s) the enjoyment of wrapping gifts for their child(ren).
Do I need to purchase gifts for the parent(s) in the program? No, this is not necessary.
What if I am unable to get out and shop, but still want to adopt? You can still adopt a family through a monetary donation and we will be happy to do the shopping for you.
Can I meet the family I adopt? The Salvation Army respects the privacy of the families we serve. Last names, addresses and phone numbers are strictly confidential.
What if I don’t want to adopt a family, but still want to help? There are several ways you can help even if you elect not to adopt a family. Donations of new toys and clothing are always welcome for our toy shop. These gifts are used to fulfill the wishes of children who do not get adopted.
Can I donate my time? Volunteers are always welcome! If you have a few hours to donate, we encourage you to learn more about the volunteer opportunities we have available. Simply register to volunteer and attend a brief orientation.More questions, please call 941-748-5110.
Be Part of the LegacyThe Red Kettle Campaign has a deep history in America. It began in 1891 in San Francisco when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner to families in need. He used an idea originally developed in Liverpool, England where people could throw some change into a pot to help the poor. Six years later, it spread to the East Coast and continued to grow into the tradition it is today, spreading throughout the entire United States and across the world. For a full history of the Red Kettle Campaign, you can click this link: Red Kettle History. Kettle Facts
- Funds collected in the kettles supports all of the programs and services offered locally by The Salvation Army.
- The holiday kettle campaign is The Salvation Army’s largest fundraising campaign – and its worldwide!
- The people who are ringing the bells can be either volunteers or paid bell ringers.
- Some of our bell ringers are paid, while others donate their time to support The Salvation Army.
- Ringing bells as a family can become a fun, holiday tradition.
- Many civic, school and church groups have holiday bell ringing days.
- We encourage groups, families and individuals to participate in holiday bell ringing.
- People of all ages can ring bells, but we ask that student groups and children have adult supervision.
- Anyone with a couple of spare hours and the desire to spread the holiday spirit is welcome.
- What is the time commitment? It varies. Some groups ring daily, others just once during a holiday season. We ask you to commit to a minimum two hour shift.
- Is there an expense for me? No! We supply the kettle, kettle stand, an apron and the bells.
- How long is the bell ringing season? This year, we will ring Monday through Saturday from November 13 until December 23.
- Why does bell ringing start so early? Traditionally, we begin the campaign locally the Monday following Veteran’s Day.
- Can I pick my location? We have a list approved sites and you can select your location from the list.
- Sing Christmas carols while you, your friends or family gather around the kettle.
- Develop a challenge amongst your friends, colleagues or even rivals to see who can raise more funds. (Think Team A vs. Team B)
- Dress up! Some of our volunteers wear fun holiday clothing!
For more information, please call 941-748-5110 and ask to speak with Melissa Fernandez, or email, Melissa.Fernandez@uss.salvationarmy.org.
Thank you for your interest in Angel TreeEach year, the Angel Tree program provides gifts for more than 1,000 Manatee County children whose parents struggle to buy Christmas presents. This program would not be successful without the generosity of those who host the trees and those who select a child’s name and purchase presents. How it works
Delivery of Angel Trees to community host sites happens in late October. Friends and patrons of the host sites pull an Angel from the tree, which identifies a specific child and their wishes for Christmas. Gifts should be returned to the Angel tree, so they can be picked up by The Salvation Army after Thanksgiving. Families of the Angels receive items the week before Christmas.Frequently Asked Questions
Can I host an Angel Tree at my business/club/church/office? Yes, to get started, call 941-748-5110.
What is involved with hosting a tree? The Salvation Army delivers the tree and Angel tags to your location. Once your tree arrives, inform your friends, patrons, club members or employees that they may select an Angel. The Salvation Army collects all of the trees and presents after Thanksgiving.
How many Angel tags will be on my Angel Tree? You may chose this based on the number of Angel wishes you believe your team can support.
What should donors purchase for their Angel? Each Angel tag includes a short wish list to use as a guide. However, the buyer decides what to purchase. We request new, unused items.
Is there anything that donors should avoid? Yes, we prefer non-violent gifts – no weapons. We also ask donors to refrain from purchasing bikes and gift cards.
Should donated gifts be wrapped? No. While we are very grateful for all of the gifts donated, we also respect that many parents enjoy wrapping gifts for their children.
How much money should I spend? We request that gifts not exceed $50. If different people adopt siblings, there is equality among gifts.
What is a Forgotten Angel? With so many families facing economic challenges, more and more families register their children. Despite our best efforts and the generosity of our community supporters, we average 400 Angels not selected from an Angel Tree. Gifts donated for a Forgotten Angel stock our toy shop and fill the wishes of these children.
How can I support the Forgotten Angels? Instead of hosting an Angel Tree, your group can collect gifts for the Forgotten Angels Toy Shop. Gifts may include toddler toys to older child games. We need for both genders and in different age ranges.Important Angel Tree Dates
October 7- October 18 – Delivery of Angel Trees to host sites November 18 - December 9 – Pick up of Angel Trees and gifts from host sites (on-going) December 9 – Last day to pick up Angel Trees and gifts from host sites
“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.”
The Salvation Army in Bradenton has both seasonal and year-round opportunities for volunteerism that allow you as an individual, your family or a group to “Do the Most Good.” While some may look for a face-to-face interaction with those we serve, others may prefer to be more “behind the scenes” in their volunteer efforts. Fortunately, we can accommodate both.
- Emergency Disaster Services
- Community dinner
- Youth enrichment for children at family shelter
- Youth programs
- Angel Tree and Adopt-A-Family registration (September)
- Angel Tree andAdopt-A-Family toy shop sorting and distribution (December)
- Ring bells at our red kettles (November and December)
Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team
- This often means serving meals or passing out bottled water to first responders and disaster victims. EDS team volunteers can elect to receive short assignments, such as two hours in your community or a longer assignment that could require travel to another state for up to two weeks. Please visit our EDS website for more information on the EDS volunteer program, including training requirements.
- At times, we do have special projects that require the assistance of a volunteer. If you are already on our volunteer roster, you may be called to see if you are available to help.
Other ways to help:
- We receive calls from groups who would like to do a service project on our behalf. We welcome these calls and accommodate when possible.
- Sponsor a drive to support basic shelter needs.
- During the holiday season, host an Angel Tree at your business, club or church.
For more information on our volunteer opportunities or to complete an application, please call Melissa Fernandez at 941-748-5110 or email Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fine print: In most cases, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Minors may volunteer when accompanied by a parent in some holiday positions. All volunteers are expected to complete an online application and profile and attend a one-hour orientation session.