Adopt a Family for the Holiday Season

The Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC), a program of the University of Minnesota, Office for Student Affairs, is seeking sponsors for its annual Adopt-A-Family, holiday assistance program.

The SPHC serves undergraduate students who are pregnant or parenting children while earning their first degree. These are dedicated, hard working students who are making sacrifices to get an education and provide a better future for their children. The support they receive through this program helps students who might not be able to afford holiday gifts for their children after paying for tuition, books, rent, child care, and other family expenses.

Thank you!!

All families have been adopted, but we still hope to buy grocery gift certificates for the families. See the alternate sponsorship information to the right.

Gift Drop-off Instructions

Wrapped gifts (please indicate on the outside of each package the number of the family you selected, and indicate the recipient on each gift [example: Family 3, son, 4 years old]) should be delivered to Student Parent Help Center, 24 Appleby Hall, 128 Pleasant Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m., M-F. They must be received no later than December 13, 2013 in order for students to get them before break.

Due to construction and parking issues on the East Bank, please call 612-626-6015 before dropping gifts off so that we can provide updated delivery and parking instructions and have someone on hand to help unload your gifts. We have a parking pass and loading dock where you can easily pull up, avoid parking fees and be in and out in under 15 minutes. However, the only way we can arrange this is to have an exact appointment time booked so we can meet you in the dock behind Appleby Hall with the required parking pass and assist you with the gifts. So please call in advance if you wish to use our parking doc and pass, as you will also need to be provided with directions on how to enter dock.Those needing to deliver their gifts later than 5 p.m. may state that when booking their drop-off appointment and all efforts will be made to have staff on-site to accommodate you whenever possible.

Off Site Drop Location

We are also offering a one day, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. off-campus, drop off location for those who want to avoid campus traffic entirely. That one day off site drop off day is Thursday, December 12, 2013. This location is the SPHC director's home in the Como Park neighborhood near the intersection of Snelling and Como Ave in St Paul. Those wanting to use this drop off location, should call the main SPHC number at: 612-626-6015, state they wish to make a drop at the Como Ave location on Dec 12th and provide an approximate drop off time at that location, at which point the full address will be provided. Barring any huge snow storm....there is typically quite a bit of street parking in this location.

Mailing Instructions

If you prefer to mail gifts, delivery is required by December 13, 2013. Address packages to University of Minnesota, Student Parent HELP Center, 109 Appleby Hall, Mail No. 3505, 128 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

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Alternate Sponsorships

If you would prefer to make a donation, rather than shop for a family, we are also hoping to provide families with grocery store gift certificates for a holiday dinner. You can send a check, payable to the University of Minnesota Foundation with Student Parent Help Center Adopt-a-Family Program in the memo line. Checks should be sent to: University of Minnesota Foundation, P.O. Box 70870, C-M-3854, St. Paul, Minnesota 55170-3854.

Online donations can be made at www.sphc.umn.edu/. Scroll midway down the homepage to the CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW button. Then use the drop down menu to select the Adopt a Family option.

About the SPHC Families

All of the student parents served by the SPHC are low income as verified by information provided on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students participating in the SPHC Adopt-A-Family program are further screened for greatest economic need and specific family or personal hardship that may be preventing the students and their children from celebrating the holidays.

Our student parents typically do not qualify for other holiday assistance programs. When community-based agencies find out they are attending the U of M, they assume they are economically more secure than the working poor or unemployed families typically served by the Salvation Army and other programs. Our U of M students, however, support themselves and their family through the financial aid and loans they receive, along with the hours they work when not in class or with their children. Their educational and household expenses don’t provide anything extra for holiday gifts. Often our students are estranged from their own families due to the pregnancy that has occurred.

The SPHC staff will distribute the donated gifts during the last week of fall term before students leave campus for winter break. Student identities remain anonymous due to confidentiality issues.

For more information about SPHC or the Adopt-a-Family project, please contact Susan Warfield at warfi002@umn.edu or call 612-625-0825.