Purchasing gifts for "adopted" family


Jan 1, 2011
My work adopts a family in the local area that needs help providing gifts for Christmas/holidays every year. The non-profit we work with selects only need-based families. It's a great cause and I really love doing it. Usually everyone gets a person in the family - this year, I got a 10 year old girl. The minimum is $25 and we agreed the maximum would be $40 this year for each family member to keep it fair.

I got everything on the "needs" list for her - jeans, winter accessories, but what should I get for a "want"... What do 10 year old girls like these days? I really have no idea. My coworker says her 10 year old has been wanting an iPhone, iPod Touch, insert other expensive electronic toys here (which would definitely take me over $40).

I've already spent $25 - what do you she would like for $15-20 ish? I was thinking maybe a $20 gift card to Claires or something like that, but I don't know if the family has a car and can get there (though there are some in the area).

Thanks in advance!
May 3, 2007
Maybe some nice Body Lotion/Spray? I know at 10 I loved getting nice-smelling gifts. Or one of those compilation CDs of recent popular music?

I love the idea behind this though, a lovely Holiday gesture by your work!


Dec 27, 2005
A beautiful journal or diary. My daughter always loved these and still does. Pretty headbands or hair things. A cute tote for school books-from Hollister or Aeropostale-they can usually be found on sale for under $20.00. Anything from the store Justice, that is big for this age group. I just did a few gifts for the Salvation Army, most were clothing for older kids but for a 5 year old I did a cool backpack filled with school supplies and fun art stuff. I got things like glow in the dark drawing kit and other things from Crayola. My one friend who is a teacher says it is amazing how many students do not have school supplies and get teased for carrying a ugly backpack necause it is not the in design. Beading kits were a big hit for this age group too.


Sep 22, 2006
Hmm, digital cameras are really big with this age group around here, although that would take more than $20. But I agree about beading/jewelry making kits and perhaps journals. With good prices, you could likely do both of those. But at this age, especially when you do not know the girl personally, maybe a GC would be best. Kids that age can be VERY picky about what they, their friends or their school considers "cool", and adults looking from the outside often cannot tell the difference. But kudos to you for participating in this program; you are definitely making someone's holiday much more special.


Dealin' and Stealin'
Jul 19, 2011
That's a really nice idea to adopt a family :smile:

I'd probably go with a gift certificate. It's hard to choose if you don't know her personally. Maybe like you said, Claires or Target, Sephora, Starbucks or even Macy's she'd probably find something she'd like.


Feb 15, 2011
Massachusetts USA
That's such a great idea, OP!!!

You could get her a piece of jewelry. I think a Claire's card is a good idea but agree they may not be able to get to a physical store so this is kind of in the same train of thought. A bracelet is a pretty safe idea - maybe something cute in sterling silver or gemstone beads? You could engrave it or an attached charm with her name or initials and that is doable with the budget you have left.


Jan 1, 2011
Thanks everyone!! I knew I could count on you ladies for advice! I will probably do a gift card of some kind since I have no idea what she wants/likes.



My baby, Bellis
Aug 8, 2006
My hubby and I adopt a family every Christmas. This year we have a single mom with two boys 3 and 14 and a 5 year old girl. They do fill out a form with likes and sizes. The 14 year old wanted a gift card for iTunes. If I were buying for a 10 year old I might choose a Kohl's gift card. They have everything. One tip: if you buy something (not a gift card) make sure you get a gift receipt. I put all the gift receipts in the mom's package.