In the season of giving, there may be no greater display than giving a home and a family to a youngster who needs them.
For the 12th year, CBS advocates providing those as celebrities relate adoption stories and perform relevant music in the annual "A Home for the Holidays" special Wednesday, Dec. 22. Ricky Martin, Nelly and Maroon 5 are among the talents slated to appear on the newest edition.
In past years, the program has featured stars such as Faith Hill, Jamie Foxx and Kristin Chenoweth, themselves adoptees. Other previous guests such as Melissa Etheridge and Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") are adoptive parents.
"A Home for the Holidays" is a joint effort of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Children's Action Network -- Thomas being the Wendy's hamburger chain founder, who also was adopted. The well-known philanthropist, who died in 2002, had established a plan for the adoption of the 114,000-plus youngsters in the American foster care system to continue.
As might be expected, "A Home for the Holidays" is a no-dry-eye-in-the-house occasion, but it's touching for the right reasons. Country music superstar Hill has admitted to needing breaks from taping when she hosted the show in recent years, so moved was she by the adoption stories.
The week leading up to Christmas is an ideal time for the program, which is why CBS traditionally schedules it then. From a programming standpoint, it's also one of the few new offerings that week, since the broadcast networks typically go repeat-heavy in consideration of people being out and about with holiday plans.
That said, "A Home for the Holidays" would be a worthy venture at any time of year. In fact, though the television special always airs in December, the adoption effort by the foundation named for Thomas goes year-round. The holiday season is an optimal time to consider taking such action, but it's as effective at any time ... and the results can be equally profound·for adoptee and adopter.
Indeed, as the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption's mantra suggests, "Change a life. You just might change your own."