Information for individuals and groups wishing to help a family
Thank you for your interest in sponsoring a family. Celebrating this season is especially difficult for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
SHARE Family & Community Services Society is working hard to support families in need. Through the Caring Neighbour Program we offer a more personalized alternative for groups who wish to support a family from Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore or Belcarra. Families register for our program based on need, and basic family information is verified. We do not further screen those families selected for a “Caring Neighbour” sponsorship. Personal, in-depth information about the families is not known (i.e. class, lifestyle, religion, etc.).
SHARE provides service in a non-judgemental, inclusive manner – regardless of race or religion.
To assist you in providing for the sponsored family, please carefully read the GUIDELINES OUTLINED BELOW. If you have additional questions we would be happy to hear from you!
As you prepare to be matched with a family, consider your group's resources (funds available will decide size of family) and if you have any preferences, for example, the age of the children or whether you would prefer a single or two parent family. If you advise us of these preferences early, we are better able to accommodate your wishes.
Registration to be a Caring Neighbour ends Friday, November 29, 2019. Please contact the Caring Neighbour Program Assistant at (604) 931-2451 or e-mail at Christmas2019@sharesociety.ca.
Caring Neighbour Guidelines
To ensure a successful match, all Caring Neighbours and Families are asked to follow the guidelines as outlined in this information package. This ensures that your expectations of participating in the program meet the expectation of SHARE and your sponsored family.
- Families are randomly selected based on your match preferences. Once again, we DO NOT have detailed information about the family. SHARE’s Christmas Program concentrates on sponsoring families with children.
- The family will be contacted by SHARE of the sponsorship. They will only be given the name of sponsor.
- The Caring Neighbour is matched and given contact and other information including size of the family, gender/age of each child and the city of residence.
- A designated representative from the Caring Neighbour group contacts the parent(s) of the family within 48 hours of being provided with the family’s information. You can imagine how disappointed a family would be if they were told they had a sponsor but they didn’t hear from them.
- During the initial call to the family, the Caring Neighbour obtains information (Re: Food preferences, children’s gift “Wish Lists”, etc). PLEASE USE THE FAMILY INFORMATION SHEET PROVIDED TO GATHER YOUR INFORMATION. Questions of a personal nature to the family should be made in a sensitive, caring, and non-judgemental manner.
- The Caring Neighbour is to provide the minimum gift of a FOOD HAMPER to the family. Additional gifts for the children and other Family members are optional and left to the discretion of the Caring Neighbour.
- Giving a TOY or GIFT to each child in the family is OPTIONAL. The family will receive gifts from either the Caring Neighbour or from SHARE's "Toy Shop". SHARE will not provide gifts to the family if the Caring Neighbour has committed to giving gifts. We will ask you about this during the Caring Neighbour registration process.
- The Caring Neighbour agrees to respect the Family’s privacy, and understands that the Family must be consulted in all matters concerning donation arrangements. The success of this program relies on a match of the expectations of both the Family and the Caring Neighbour. In some cases (when the Caring Neighbour is a community group/school group for instance), we suggest Caring Neighbours limit access to the name and address of the family to one or two organizers in the Caring Neighbour group - to protect and respect the family's privacy.
- The Caring Neighbour agrees to deliver the food hamper to the family's home. Please pre-arrange a mutually convenient delivery time with the parent. We suggest a maximum of 3 people deliver the hamper, as more people may make the family feel uncomfortable. All deliveries MUST be completed by Dec. 16th, 2019.
- If a situation arises close to the committed time of delivery where you are unable to do so personally, we encourage you to inform SHARE and to arrange a time for the hamper to be left at the Food Bank for the family to pick up.
- SHARE will provide support to the Caring Neighbour and the Family using phone or e-mail contact throughout the Caring Neighbour/Family relationship.
- It is our pleasure to acknowledge the effort and caring you give in support of the SHARE Christmas Food & Toys program. SHARE also encourages the family to express appreciation to their Caring Neighbour.
Holiday celebrations can be a very difficult and emotional time for many people. Our families will likely have very mixed emotions. They may be grateful at having the opportunity to enjoy a better holiday, apprehensive at allowing strangers such an intimate involvement with their family, worried about what you may think of them, embarrassed about their need for help. Your sensitivity, kindness, and understanding will go a long way in helping to make the family's experience a wonderful one!
Our Food Bank families come from various cultural backgrounds. During the holiday season these families’ celebrations may be different from yours but they do celebrate the holidays in their own way. On occasion families may ask sponsors for gift cards instead of a food hamper to allow them to purchase their food preferences. It can be a very busy time of year for everyone and if providing the family with gift cards meets with your donation expectations please feel free to suggest this to your family.
FINANCIAL GUIDELINES for Sponsorship Food & Gift packages
We suggest, as a minimum, the food hampers contain enough food for 3 meals on Christmas Day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). The checklist provided is meant as a guideline only, and hopefully will spark your imagination! Please keep in mind that our families are aware of our guidelines and therefore they will expect their package to be similar. (We strongly suggest approximately $55.00 per person in food items).
For example: a 4-person family would receive a food hamper valued at approximately $220.00.
Some suggestions include providing a turkey / ham and fresh vegetables, or a gift certificate for their choice of items. For
fresh foods (meats, dairy, vegetables) you could include a $25.00 Gift Certificate. Please keep meat frozen until delivery
or give a food store gift certificate.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING:
- Are there any food allergies?
- Is the family vegetarian?
- If there are babies or infants in the family, do they have any special needs?
- Are there cultural food preferences?
- Are the children allowed sweets/candy?
- If it is a small family, would they prefer a chicken or ham rather than a turkey?
If you wish to purchase a gift for any children and/or family members, you need to indicate this to the parent. To avoid any misunderstandings, please clearly communicate to the family what you are planning to provide. Please note that Santa brings only NEW toys/gifts and a reasonable cost for GIFTS is $50 per child and one family gift (e.g. a puzzle or a game).
In order to conform to Revenue Canada charitable giving guidelines SHARE is unable to provide tax receipts for food, toys or sponsorship (in-kind) donations. SHARE provides tax receipts for financial contributions. You can make your donation by credit card by calling 604-540-9161 to support SHARE programs or send your cheque to 104 – 3020 Lincoln Avenue, Coquitlam, V3B 6B4.
Reminder: ALL FOOD and GIFTS MUST BE DELIVERED by DECEMBER 16th, 2019
Click here to download the Family Information Sheet