In the Bay Area, a place known for luxury and wealth, nearly one fourth of Californians can barely afford basic needs, leaving nothing extra for families to enjoy together. Family Giving Tree believes in the power of community and is busy coordinating early efforts toward the Holiday Wish Drive. “Christmas in July” is just a phrase for some, but, at Family Giving Tree, the winter holidays are never far from our minds.
While most of our supporters are thinking of Back-to-School, we are busy surveying need for the holidays. During these critical summer months, our Agency Coordinator works one-on-one with each of our 300+ social service agencies to collect specific holiday wishes for the community to adopt in the fall. One social service agency representative noted,
“Family Giving Tree and their direct supporters always give the best quality gifts to our low-income families. Each child from zero to 12 is always SO excited to receive a gift they ACTUALLY asked for … Thank you for making such a difference in the lives of low-income children Family Giving Tree!”
As we work to collect 80,000 individual wishes to distribute in December, consider becoming a “Direct Supporter” Drive Leader or adopting more wishes. Every gift makes a difference.
In 2016, Family Giving Tree collaborated with over 350 local social service agencies to obtain and deliver gifts to 76,263 children, individuals and families. Highlighted below is a group of long-term partner agencies your generosity has impacted: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley.
Family Giving Tree has collaborated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley to fulfill exact holiday wishes of Bay Area children for more than 25 years. The joy you provide through fulfilling wishes is an investment in their future. The Boys & Girls Clubs after-school programs work to keep low-income and at-risk youth off the streets; providing a safe space for academics, socializing with peers, and access to tutoring services.
Each year, Family Giving Tree joins the clubhouses to throw holiday celebrations where your donated gifts are distributed to the children of the Boys & Girls Clubs. Fred McCasland, a Clubhouse Director, explains,
“At the center of all the planning and work is reaching out to every member‘s family to find what their child’s exact holiday wish is…The parents are so happy. They don’t have to worry about their child not receiving a gift…because of the Family Giving Tree and its generous donors, our kids get something special every single year – the gift they want – and they love it. We are so thankful to those donors!”
You brought joy to over 74,000 Bay Area low-income children and families. We’re still in the midst of adding up all the numbers but one thing is very certain. You helped make our biggest Holiday Wish Drive possible! Thank you!
Toys and gifts are more than things to play with. They help spark lifelong passions and form interests that carry over into adulthood. A gift at the holidays tells someone that they matter. When you give a gift to a child in-need you are showing them that they have value in the community.
Jasmine, 9 asked for an Easy Bake Oven because she wants to grow up to be a chef.
Thanks to you, Jasmine and thousands of other local low-income children received a gift that will provide hours of joy, inspire them to pursue their passions, and remind them how much their community cares about them.
The gifts we receive as children inspire lifelong passions whether they be as artists, engineers, or doctors. This holiday season, together we can inspire local low-income children and fulfill their wishes.
Tony, age 5 from San Francisco City Impact wishes for a Leapfrog Learning Activity Table. To Tony, this is not just a toy. It is a tool to help develop basic learning skills that will propell him in to a brighter future.
For those children like Tony, your generosity shows that they matter in the community. Not receiving a gift can dishearten children. Your gift can encourage them to pursue their passion.
The sweltering heat of July seems the furthest thing from the holidays but the wishes are beginning to arrive. As the requests come in, we see the bigger picture of poverty in Silicon Valley: bedding, shoes, clothes, and educational toys. The needs of the community for basic amenities grows. Struggling to pay increased rent and provide food leaves little left for holiday gifts.
Children living in these families grow up expecting little during the season of giving; children like Luis who, when asked what he wished for, replied,
“Two pillows. My mom and sister are sleeping on the floor of my grandmother’s house and I would like for them to each have a pillow.”
They may not know what poverty means but they feel its effects. Poverty should not define the memories of children. As we collect thousands of wishes like Luis’, we ask the community to gather together and aim to deliver joy to over 70,000 children and individuals. You can deliver joy this holiday season, fulfilling the wishes of those most in-need in our community.
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