It’s the heart of the holiday season. Christmas is right around the corner. In many households, there are already presents waiting under the tree and eager children eyeing those perfectly-wrapped gifts. Other families (you know who you are) are just realizing that Christmas is right around the corner and speeding to the nearest mall.

Giving gifts to the people in your life during the holidays is wonderful. It truly is better to give than to receive. Something about generosity touches a place in our heart that makes us feel more alive. In the spirit of the holiday season, that giving doesn’t have to stop with the people you know.

The holidays are a great time to take part in giving beyond your immediate circles. You can make a difference in someone’s life by supporting adoption this Christmas. There are hundreds of incredible organizations across the country doing important work to help prospective birth mothers, adoptive families and children. These organizations count on seeing a surge of donations at Christmas time to fund some of their most important initiatives.

You don’t have to give a lot — every donation counts. You can take advantage of the holiday spirit and support adoption. Your gift could help change a life!

It’s the Most Generous Time of the Year

red female gloves hold a white heart from the snow.Charitable giving increases noticeably during the holiday season. Spirits are up, and the virtue of “giving without receiving” is exalted during this time of year. Across the country, families are in a jolly mood and more likely to donate. This is well-known within the nonprofit community. More than half of all nonprofits received over 25 percent of their annual donations during Christmas time, according to the Nonprofit Research Collaborative.

This year, American charitable giving has increased overall. According to the Blackbaud Index, online giving has increased 10 percent since 2017, and overall giving has gone up by 2.2 percent. With that sort of momentum, holiday giving in 2018 could set record highs, and you can be a part of it.

Behind all these numbers are real lives. The numbers are important, but they aren’t the main point. Nonprofit adoption organizations create the systems necessary to directly help people impacted by adoption. While you may not be able to join the front lines of this work, you can play a vital role by supporting it financially. Your donations translate directly into actions that change lives, and that’s what really matters.

Ways to Support Adoption

The adoption process can be complex. There are a lot of requirements — home studies, adoption expenses, medical care, state and federal laws — and a lot of people involved — the birth mother, adoptive family, adoption agency, attorneys, medical professionals and child. With this many moving parts, there are many different areas an adoption nonprofit organization can choose to focus on. Each area of focus is important, and it’s up to you to decide where you want your donation to make a difference.

There are plenty of organizations doing important work that we won’t be able to list. But, for a starting point, these are some nonprofits you could consider supporting this holiday season.

Birth Mother Support

  • Birthmom Buds: This nonprofit provides peer counseling, support and online resources for expectant mothers considering adoption and birth mothers who have placed their babies for adoption. The emotional journey during the adoption process is challenging, and it takes time to heal from the loss associated with adoption after placement is made. Even when adoption is the best option, it’s still not easy. Counseling and encouraging resources are vitally important to these women, and your donation helps make those resources possible.
  • Concerned United Birthparents: This organization was founded with a mission to provide support for all family members impacted by adoption. They provide resources and education about the life-long effects of adoption and advocate for adoption laws and policies that are fair for birth parents. In part because of advocacy like this, the adoption process has been transformed over the last several decades to be much more beneficial and respectful of birth parents. Your donation can support continued advocacy and resources for birth parents who are making a brave decision.

Adoptive Family Support

  • Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: As one of the longest-standing adoption nonprofits in the country, the Dave Thomas Foundation is a trustworthy organization to support this Christmas. Since 1992, they have worked to support adoptive families and children, specifically working in the area of foster care adoption.
  • Show Hope: The adoption process can be expensive. Many families who dream of starting or growing a family through adoption are unable to handle the cost on their own. Show Hope helps children come home through adoption by providing financial grants to families in the adoption process. A gift to Show Hope’s Christmas campaign can directly benefit an adoptive family.
  • Give Directly to the Family: You may know a family in the adoption process, or at least be aware of a family in your neighborhood, school or faith community who is trying to adopt. Thanks to websites like GoFundMe, you can give directly to a family and help their dreams of adoption become a reality.

Support for Children

  • Together We Rise: The vision of Together We Rise is to improve the lives of children in foster care. This organization is comprised of young adults and former foster youth. They work with agencies and social workers across the country to create a better experience for children in the foster care system. A donation to this organization will make a difference in the life of a child.
  • Your Local Boys & Girls Club: The Boys & Girls Club of America strives to enable young people to reach their full potential. Through mentorship programs, tutoring, recreation opportunities and many other forms of outreach, the Boys & Girls Club reaches some of the most vulnerable youth in our communities, which often includes children in the foster care system. Find your local club and make a donation this Christmas.

These are only a few of the many organizations you could direct your generosity toward. Supporting adoption this holiday season can make a real difference in the lives of birth parents, adoptive families and children.