Millersville University Woman’s softball team goes shopping for a family in need of Thanksgiving dinner. SAMI FRIED / SNAPPER

Sami Fried

Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is a time to be with your friends and family. While most people indulge in a huge feast, there are many who are struggling to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families. 

Adopt-A-Family, a program started by Millersville softball coach Jen Probst, provides families in need with a list of items they may need around Thanksgiving and the holiday times. This list includes everything from food to feast on, all the way to necessary items like toilet paper and hand soap. 

“I started Adopt-A-Family in 2017 with only five families and have grown it 6 years later to twenty families,” Probst says.  

The groups that participate in the program are given a list of items from the family they are assigned to. 

“The Adopt-A-Family program is an amazing opportunity to give back to our community,” a senior on the Millersville softball team, Gabi Turner says. “This community has always been very supportive of our program, so it’s a privilege to be able to return the favor by making a family’s holiday season even brighter. I look forward to it every year!”

The impact this program has on the Millersville community is evident with every delivery made. 

Probst opens up the idea of adopting a family for Thanksgiving to all the athletic teams within the department as well as other departments on campus.

“It is important to engage with our community and helping someone who might otherwise not be able to help themselves is important,” Katie Parmer says. “The world is bigger than Millersville athletics and there are folks that are struggling. Why not help people in our community get a leg up if you can, and we absolutely can, so why wouldn’t I want to use my resources to be able to help somebody else?”

Parmer is one of the athletic trainers at Millersville who has participated in Adopt-A-Family for the last two years. 

Probst has been doing this program for twelve years. Prior to bringing it to the Millersville community, Probst was a part of Adopt-A-Family in the Misericordia area. 

“When I got to campus, there was nothing like this here. I wanted to bring this service to a community that I knew would support this and accept it,” Probst said. 

Probst goes through local resources to gain families that need our help during these times. Each year, she reaches back out to these families along with the new ones she gains. 

Adopt-A-Family is growing each year with families and with participants. 

If you and your campus organization would like to participate in giving this year to families in need, please reach out to Jen Probst at