Moving Forward Together

Embrace-A-Family

Join our community-wide effort to embrace families in need for the holidays

Every year, Embrace-A-Family provides holiday cheer and vital support for individuals and families throughout San Diego. In 2021,  645 households felt the warm embrace of our community during the holidays—representing 1,630 individuals!

As the financial effects of the pandemic continue to be felt throughout our community, more of our neighbors are turning to JFS. From single-parent families to military veterans, to older adults living on a tight fixed income, we work together with our community to make the holidays possible for those who might not otherwise be able to celebrate.

By providing direct financial relief to existing recipients, we help to offset expenses incurred during the holiday season. This dignified approach empowers recipients to use the funds where they need it most—whether that’s for food, gifts, or anything else a family might need during these challenging times. Your support will provide individuals and families with holiday meals, care packages, and direct financial assistance—making this holiday season a whole lot brighter.

“We cannot begin to express our gratitude for what was given to our family. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Embrace-A-Family?
Every year, JFS partners with people just like you to provide holiday support to those who may not otherwise have the means to celebrate. Together, Embrace-A-Family brings smiles to children, vital items to seniors, and the holiday spirit to all who are embraced.

Is JFS continuing the Embrace-A-Family program this year?
Yes. JFS is committed to supporting our community, including embracing families again this holiday season.

Who is eligible to be embraced?
Individuals and families actively participating in JFS services are eligible. Embrace-A-Family is part of the holistic support JFS offers as a hand up, not a handout. Embrace recipients are from all faiths, backgrounds, and ages.

Approximately how many families will be embraced this year?
We are still in the process of identifying all those who will be embraced. In years past, we’ve embraced over 500 families, and the number looks to be substantially greater this year.

Will I be matched with a specific family?
The short answer is No. Over the last year and a half, our community has been navigating the challenges of the pandemic. For JFS, that included developing innovative and safe ways to continue to provide our critical services, including shifting the Embrace-A-Family model to direct financial assistance which helped keep our community of Embrace recipients, staff, donors, and volunteers safe. This model proved to be more efficient and effective than in year’s past and was well received by recipients. Providing financial assistance, holiday baskets, and nutrition assistance will be our new Embrace-A-Family model going forward. To become an Embracer, click here.

If not gifts, what do recipients receive?
JFS will be providing families with holiday meals, care packages, and direct financial assistance which they can use to celebrate the holidays and use for critical needs. This new model empowers individuals and families with the ability to choose how the additional resources can best be utilized based for their individual circumstances. For many families, that still means buying gifts for their children. For others, it allows them to put a holiday meal on the table. And for some, it actually helps keep the lights on, repair their car, or gets directed to healthcare costs.

My family is interested in being embraced this year, who do I contact?
Individuals and families must be actively participating in JFS services to be eligible to be embraced for the holidays. If you are in need of assistance, please contact (858) 637-3210 or fill out our online contact form here.

Questions About Becoming An Embracer?

Contact us at (858) 637-3034 or email [email protected]