Now that the holiday shopping season has begun one Valley charity is hoping residents will open their hearts and their wallets to help support a family in need.

Black Family and Child Services (BFCS) helps families across Maricopa County who can’t get the resources they need from the state. This year CEO Mary Black said she’s not sure if there’s less resources to go around or a greater need, but they are getting a record number of inquiries for help and aren’t able to fill the need. Black is hoping if more people take advantage of the organization’s Adopt-A-Family Program it might make up the difference.

“We get such an over pour of people coming in waiting to get jobs and get their resources back,” Black said. “While the economy in general is improving there are so many families, especially people who are at the bottom and impacted the most, not getting resources. We are seeing a great need. We’ve just had less people coming forward this year and saying, ‘I want to adopt a family,’ and we believe that’s because a lot of people were laid-off themselves or had to relocate out of state.”

BFCS is a licensed child welfare agency. They do foster care; therapeutic foster care; child and family behavioral health services; adult substance abuse out-patient counseling; family support and preservation; and family enhancement behavioral support services. They also have a Basic Needs program, which includes the Adopt-a-Family program.

The Adopt-a-Family program is a year-round program but gains popularity around Christmas time. Families or businesses can ask to be matched with a small family (usually one adult and one or two children), a medium family (one or two parents and three to four children) or a large family (five or more children).

Each family who signs up to be adopted fills out a form with basic information about their family and a wish list. Those who adopt a family do not have to meet every need on the list.

“The parents always amaze me,” Black said. “They ask for general cleaning products. They ask for towels. They ask for basic things.”

Black said this year they’ve had to stop adding people to their waiting list because the number has gotten so large and they’ve seen so fewer people coming to adopt.

Once the person or group has collected the items for the family in need they can bring them to the office at 1522 E. Southern Ave., or BFCS can arrange for the two parties to meet in person.

BFCS has families in need across the Valley, not just in Phoenix. They serve all races and ethnicities. For more information on their services or how to get involved, visit To find out more about how to adopt a family, call (602) 243-1773 and ask for Michelle.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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