The Dunkin' Donuts Adopt-A-Serviceperson Program for Thanksgiving

The Dunkin’ Donuts Adopt-A-Serviceperson Program for Thanksgiving

The USO Adopt-A-Serviceperson Program for Thanksgiving is about 30 years old. The program was started to place single service members that couldn’t go home for the holidays into homes in the local community with host families to share a meal.

The families pick up the service members in the morning at a designated pick up point; take them home for the day where they will spend the afternoon playing games, sport activities, watching TV and/or ballgames, with members of the host family.

We place the service members out in the “Buddy System” so they have someone with them they know. They can team up with a friend or buddy they know and we will place them together into a home. We do have a policy however, that states “You sign, you dine.” If a service member signs up and finds that they have an emergency or does not want to participate, we ask that they find a replacement. Our families make special efforts to make this a special occasion while purchasing extra food and goodies to provide a nice meal. Once the host families are contacted, they expect to have a service member in their home.

We do the adoption on Thanksgiving morning. Fort Lee works with us to provide AIT students which are the bulk of our military members. Our pick up point is on Ft. Lee.

We keep records on all families that sign-up to host and have a registration form that our families need to complete. We maintain a list with addresses and contact numbers where all the service members will be for the day. Some families will pick up and then go to another location for the dinner, like a parent’s home. All service members will share their meals in a home.

The service members are later returned to their Units on Ft. Lee. They only thing I need is a commitment to the program and for the families to provide the transportation.

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