Seasonal service: Community donates in ‘joyful’ Adopt-A-Family drive


Photo credit: Ella Frey

The Adopt-A-Family drive is open for all grades to particpate. Archer students and parents can sign up to provide a family with presents like blankets or clothing.

At first glance, the halls of Archer looked the same today as they always do. To the left of the entrance was Nilusha Patel’s room, where Head of School Elizabeth English’s golden retrievers sat waiting for students to pet them, while the Parlor was to the right. However, the hallway was also lined with large cardboard boxes that signaled the start of the Adopt-A-Family gift drive.

The overall program is organized through the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. According to the program website, 500 families will be adopted this holiday season. The gifts collected will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 15.

The Community Service Leadership Board (CSLB) is tasked with coordinating the drive at Archer. Each grade level is assigned to a specific family and is tasked with bringing in specific items that the family requested, such as pajamas, soccer balls, blankets and headphones. 

CSLB member Kelsey Thompson said the drive is more ‘personal’ than previous ones because students are giving to specific people rather than a general population. 

“A lot of our service is just donations that just go to a larger group like the food bank but adopt a family is different because we actually are getting the names of the people that are getting these gifts and their ages,” Thompson said. “They are…sharing with us specific things they want.”

Community Service Coordinator Lauren Sekula said that CSLB wanted the drive to be ‘joyful’ and ‘celebratory.’ Sekula hopes to increase community participation in the drive by providing multiple avenues for students to get involved.

“We have opportunities for gift-wrapping, so you’re not just dropping off your gift and ending there,” Sekula said. “We are able to participate in delivering gifts…we don’t actually get to deliver to the families that we’re purchasing gifts for, but we can go out into the community and deliver gifts to one of the hundreds of families.”

Community Service Class Representative Eva Dembo (’21) said that the Adopt-A-Family program has promoted gratitude and giving around Archer.

“Whenever we do Adopt-A-Family at Archer, there is always… such a good sense of caring for others and doing good,” Dembo said. “It reminds me [to] just be grateful for what I have, and whenever you do something good for others…you also do good for yourself.”

Sekula said that families impacted by the drive have multiple children with one income. This year, there is a family that is affected by domestic violence.

“Adopt-a-Family allows Archer students and parents to contribute to a family in need so that they can have an amazing holiday season just the way we would,” Thompson said. “We can expand ourselves outside this community, which is really exciting.”