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YWCA Glendale and Pasadena’s Adopt-a-Family Program

We provide resources and support to survivors of domestic violence and their children so that they can achieve self-sufficiency and live free from violence. Every year our donors make holiday wishes come true for families affected by domestic violence through our Adopt-a-Family program. Families provide a list of their most needed items and donors are matched with them and their wish lists.

As we work to bring holiday joy to the courageous families rebuilding their lives through the increased obstacles presented by COVID-19, we would like to share a full-circle story of a survivor whose family was adopted years ago in this program, who after rebuilding her life, paid this gift forward by adopting a family in last year’s program.

Angela* came to our center in 2016 as a referral from the Department of Children and Family Services. She had been in an abusive marriage and sadly, her children had witnessed these acts in their household. A child abuse case was filed against Angela for failure to protect her children. To keep her and her children safe, Angela needed to find help. When she arrived at YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, she had separated from her husband and was living with her mother. It was around the holidays, and the first time her children had to celebrate them without their father.

A YWCA staff member decided that she would adopt Angela’s family that year in the Adopt-a-Family program. Angela was overwhelmed to receive all of the items on her children’s wish list from this anonymous donor. It meant so much to be able to provide her children with presents that lit up their eyes and brought so much laughter and joy to their holiday experience together.

Angela continued to attend individual counseling and support groups for survivors to better understand the dynamics of domestic violence and its impact on children, while her children participated in trauma-informed childcare and art therapy. Her hard work to break the cycle of violence resulted in the case against her being closed. Not long after, she found a stable job with benefits for her children. This new opportunity was a tremendous win for her and her family.

By 2019, Angela was in a positive place in her life, and her children were happy and healthy. As she reflected on their time with us at YWCA Glendale and Pasadena and the support and advocacy they received, Angela felt empowered to pay it forward. Knowing how close it was to the holidays, Angela signed up to adopt a family. She shared with our staff that she was honored to give thanks in this way for all the help she received while going through the most challenging time in her life.

“It is a very special thing to have holiday gifts sent to your family by someone who, without knowing you and the circumstances that brought you to YWCA, is rooting for you and believes in you, and that you can make a new life for yourself and your children.”

Registration is currently closed.

Thanks to the generosity of our 2021 Adopt-a-Family donors, we have successfully matched donors with 106 families in our Domestic Violence Programs! Because we continue to receive survivors in our shelter and community resource center, we will continue to accept gift card donations that we can provide to incoming participants from December 1-20th.

For more information on donating gift cards, please contact


*Name changed for confidentiality