For the last couple of years, the company I work for has hosted the holiday gift drive in our office, then the admin group volunteers in the warehouse. We are in such awe at the generosity of all who work so hard to make the holidays a special time for the children in the Bay Area. The Family Giving Tree works so tirelessly to help these children with the holiday wish drive as well as the Back to School Backpack drive. It's been great to have a small part in helping the children of our community. There is nothing greater than seeing the pictures of all the smiling children that have been helped by the Family Giving Tree. We can't wait to help out again this year!
My family and I volunteered to wrap Christmas gifts for the holiday season in 2009. It was well organized and felt useful. Our kids got a kick out of doing something practical to help others. We wanted to participate again in 2010, but by the time the volunteering sign ups opened to the general public, all the spaces had been taken by corporate groups.
We open volunteer registration for sponsoring companies (1000 of them) in October, then open the registration for everyone else in November. Unfortunately, all 7000 volunteer spots fill up so quickly that many people can't get in. Someday we will be helping so many kids that we will need two warehouses and then perhaps we can fit everyone in. :) Thanks, Jennifer, Queen Elf
Review from CharityNavigator
I first came to know the Family Giving Tree as a donor through my host company. I later became a volunteer and picked up gifts from other host companies and delivered them to the warehouse. I volunteered in the warehouse and there I witnessed amazing generosity. I wanted to do more, so I met with Jennifer to discuss what that might look like. I've been on the Board since then and have had the pleasure of really getting to know the team behind it all and how they make it happen year after year. What makes it all happen is an incredibly hard working staff-- they know what it means to go the extra mile. The staff is small and so we rely on huge numbers of volunteers to extend our reach. And we have incredible host companies who partner with us year after year and help us reach our goal of serving more children each year. And most importantly, our donors who continue to be generous in their giving year after year. I'm proud to have been involved with the Family Giving Tree; I see an organization that is highly regarded by it's partners and donors alike; a solid, successful non-profit with a high standard of integrity and quality of work; a small, yet impactful organization reaching out and meeting the needs of our community. Let me also take this opportunity to thank those already involved in partnering with the Family Giving Tree, whether you're a donor, a host company, or a volunteer.
This is an organization that truly helps bring together the business community and those most in need and allows us to partner together for the benfit of our local youth. It is so easy to write a check and continue on with your day, but the Family Giving Tree gives us the opportunity to get involved directly with the lives we touch and see the end result of our efforts. FGT has a fantastic team of individuals that I consider it a honor to work with twice a year.
A great organization. Great staff and many volunteers working to bring Christmas gifts to the needy during the Christmas season and back back to over 15,000 youngster before school starts. What a great bunch of people doing so much good. Ted Johnson
This agency has been around for nearly 20 years and every year they give gifts to thousands of children. Each year the need is greater and each year the Family Giving Tree responds to the needs of the community. I started out as a volunteer the first year about 15 years ago and was so overwhelmed at the seeing the need of the bay area for gifts during Christmas. The Silicon Valley one of the wealthiest places on earth had so many children that were in need, it was heartbreaking at first, but then I realized how many children would be recieving a gift and it became heartwarming. After the first day of volunteering, I began bringing family and friends to help with this wonderful task of making sure that children will have a gift to open on Christmas day. Then a few years later the Family Giving Tree began giving out age specific backpacks to children in need. The Back to School Drive was now an annual event and I and my crew were able to help with that program too. The staff of the Family Giving Tree are wonderful giving people and their mission is to help young poor children get a fair start at school and to make sure that they know that someone (they don't even know) cares about them at the Christmas season. Many years back Jennifer Cullenbine (CEO)mentioned that it would be nice to be able to see the children get some of the gifts, so she invented a Christmas party for some of the Kids. It was a grand affair! The children and their families got to come and have a nice lunch, play games and have Santa give them their own special gift. I was lucky enough to be included in this party and I cannot tell you the joy I (we) all felt as we saw the children get their gifts. I and my family and friends look forward to this yearly event. It is the true meaning of Christmas. This is a wonderful organization! This past year they gave out 63,000 Christmas gifts and 15,000 Backpacks to those in need.