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About Rush Adopt-A-Family

The Rush community, which includes employees, doctors, nurses, clinicians, students, volunteers and friends, has always been generous in giving to those less fortunate. One way it does that is through the Adopt-A-Family program, in which members of the Rush community "adopt" families for the holiday season. Since the Adopt-A-Family program began more than 25 years ago, a multitude of families and senior citizens have been adopted.

In 2012 alone, 163 families were adopted by members of the Rush family and outside groups and individuals. Rush and its friends make a tremendous impact on families in our community, and the needs continue to grow each year. Please consider adopting a family by buying clothes, gifts, toys, food and other items for the holiday season. Checks and gift cards are also accepted. Checks are to be made payable to Rush University Medical Center – Adopt-A-Family Program.

Your thoughtfulness and kindness will make the holidays brighter for many families and individuals.

Signup for the program, connecting our Rush community with families, lasts from Sept. 16 to Dec. 3. If you have any questions, please call the Department of Community Affairs at (312) 942-5961.

Adopt-A-Family Frequently Asked Questions
Adopt-A-Family Organizations
Adopt-A-Family Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Rush involved in this program?

At Rush University Medical Center, all of our efforts are designed to support our mission: to provide the best possible care for patients. Our education and research endeavors, community service programs, relationships with other hospitals — and even our campus transformation — are dedicated to enhancing excellence in patient care for the diverse communities of the Chicago area, now and in the future. The Adopt-A-Family program is consistent with that mission at Rush. Rush staff members care about our surrounding community. The Adopt-A-Family program is another example of that commitment. The holiday season is an excellent opportunity to share with families who need help and to assist in making their holidays brighter.

How are the agencies and churches selected?

The agencies and churches that participate in the Adopt-A-Family program are members of the Coalition of HOPE, a group sponsored by Rush's Department of Community Affairs. Coalition of HOPE is a diverse group of agencies and churches throughout the Chicagoland area that came together for a common goal — to help families address the challenges facing them. Marshalling resources enables the Coalition of HOPE to be more efficient and effective.

How are families selected to be beneficiaries of the program?

Agencies and churches that are members of the Coalition of HOPE identify families who are in need. The agencies and churches have relationships with the families. Once a family has been identified, a contact person from the agency or church fills out a contact sheet on their behalf and submits it to Rush's Department of Community Affairs.

What types of gifts should I buy?

You should buy what the families need most, and those needs are identified on the Adopt-A-Family program's contact sheet. Acceptable gifts include gift cards for stores, such as Jewel, Dominick's, Ultra Foods, Target, Wal-Mart or Food 4 Less. The families will likely identify the store closest to them. Other common gifts include bedding/linen, toys, books, household basics, gift cards, clothes and shoes. Families complete a size chart for any clothes and shoes that are requested.

The churches and agencies always provide a contact name and phone number to call for questions on the contact sheets. Please feel free to contact those individuals for additional questions about the families' needs. If you have other questions about this, the Department of Community Affairs at (312) 942-5961.

Is there a spending range?

The amount spent on a family is left to the discretion of the adopting person/department. We strongly encourage you to give food gift cards for the family as part of what is given to the family.

After purchasing the gifts, do I need to wrap them?

Yes. Gifts should be wrapped and labeled for the designated family member.

Can I use this opportunity as a tax write-off?

Yes. You may use this opportunity as a tax write-off. Be sure to make your checks payable to Rush University Medical Center, and in the memo section write Adopt-A-Family Program. Also, check with your tax preparer and keep all your receipts associated with the family you adopted.

Do I need to be an affiliate of Rush?

No. You do not have to be an affiliate of Rush to participate in the Adopt-A-Family program.

Do I have to be part of a large department to participate in the program?

No. You can adopt a family by yourself, with your family, with friends, a sorority, etc.

Agencies and Churches That Benefit

El Valor
Family Focus
Habilitative Systems, Inc.
Westside Association for Community Action
Holy Family Lutheran Church
Jordan Temple Baptist Church
Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church
Mt. Vernon Baptist Church
St. Pius V Church
Third Baptist Church of Chicago
Wayman AME Church


Here are a few of the thank-yous we've received:

"With much appreciation, we are extremely grateful for your kindness toward us during this holiday season. May you be blessed richly."

"I truly appreciate the caring and kindness that you've bestowed upon me and my family this Christmas. My children will get to learn what Christmas is, a truly happy and joyous holiday because people like you care with each gift that is opened. For me, I will get to see the smiles and hope restored after having such a tragic year. The only thing I have to say is thank you from the bottom of my, no, our hearts."

"Adopt-A-Family, you will never know how much happiness your love and kindness brings how it fills the lives of others with many joyous things. Thank you so much."

"We the Williams family thank you for your kindness, and you will always be in our prayers."

"I want to take time to say thank you to the Adopt-A-Family Committee for your love and care. I hope you continue to have good health."

Here's a comment from someone who gave gifts to a family:

"When we delivered our gifts, we were really touched by this family. They were so grateful for our support. One of the daughters even wrote us a poem. They gave us something that we won't soon forget — genuine thankfulness."

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