Making the Holiday Season a Little Brighter

Each year through our Embrace-a-Family Program, individuals, families, and groups in the community help ensure families in need have a joyous holiday celebration. Many Embrace-a-Family recipients would not have Hanukkah or Christmas celebrations without this program. This year, we are embracing 326 households in our community, from families with young children to isolated older adults.

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How It Works

Embracers are matched with a family in need and provide toys, clothes, food, gift cards, and more for the holiday season. Embracers are provided with a description of the family, including gender and ages of children, and their holiday wish lists. This is a great way for you, your family, group, and/or business to make the holiday season a little brighter for a family who is struggling to make ends meet.


Donate Gifts or Gift Cards

Even if you can’t embrace a family, you can still participate! Donate new, unused toys, other gifts, and/or gift cards. Cash donations are also greatly appreciated for last-minute gift purchases.


Donation Drop-off

Please deliver gifts on the dates and locations below:

Hanukkah drop-off: Sunday, November 4 at JFS.
Christmas drop-off: Sunday, December 2 at a location to be determined.

All Gifts Should Be Dropped Off Unwrapped

We request unwrapped gifts so parents can be included in the gift giving process. You are welcome to wrap gifts for households of one or those without children. Please consider including wrapping paper so parents can wrap the gifts for their children. We believe in dignity above all else and the holiday season can be challenging for many. Please help us preserve dignity and allow families to celebrate together. 

For more information or if you have any questions, please reach out to our Volunteer Engagement team by contacting them at  (858) 637-3050 or embrace@jfssd.org.



Confidentiality and Meeting the Families

JFS strives to give our clients the dignity and confidentiality they deserve.In order to protect the confidentiality of our Embrace-A-Family recipients, we keep their names and contact information private. And we are unable to arrange meetings between families and their embracers.

We recognize the disconnect this can often cause for the children who are excited to know more about the family that are embracing. In order to keep the Embrace-a-Family Program meaningful for your children, we recommend going through the wish list(s) you receive upon becoming an embracer. Go through the ages and genders of the family members and ask your children to draw a picture of what the family looks like. This is a good opportunity to teach your children about the Jewish values of tikkun olam and tzedakah, while preserving the dignity of participating families.

Thank you for your support and respecting the privacy of our clients.


Stay Connected with JFS

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(858) 637-3050
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(858) 637-3210

(General Information)
(858) 637-3000

Turk Family Center
8804 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA  92123

All communication is strictly confidential.

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