Family Giving Tree
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Send Children to School Prepared

Leading a Back to School Drive is an incredible way to help local kids in need just in time for the new school year. Last year, generous donors supported more than 32,000 Bay Area students in need with backpacks and school supplies. Many others still need our help!

Back to School Drive

Deliver hope to children this holiday season and fulfill a wish for a low income family in your community!

Lead a Holiday Wish Drive! Purchase gifts for those in need in the Bay Area this winter and share the joy of the season. Our goal is to fulfill the wishes of 70,000 local children, elderly, and the homeless this season. Register your company, social club, favorite local shop, or another group today to help low income families have a memorable holiday.

Lead a Drive

About Our Drives

Since 1990, Family Giving Tree has served over one million Bay Area children from low-income families. With the help of over 1,100 generous donating groups like you, we served 100,000 children in 2014! Thousands more local children and their families are looking for your support. Participating in our drives provides your group with the opportunity to personally impact the lives of your neighbors. The success of our programs relies on the time, effort, and generosity of Host Coordinators like you each year. Whether it is for the Back to School Drive or Holiday Wish Drive, we hope that you will have a rewarding and fun-filled experience leading the drive for your organization. When you decide to register to host a drive, we will send you donation cards at the start of the giving season. A single card represents a Bay Area person in need.

The Back to School Drive launches in June and ends in August. Each backpack card includes a request for grade specific supplies and a backpack. These donations provide tools essential to a child's education, supplies they would otherwise have to start school without. We work directly with local schools to distribute the supply-filled backpacks and use enrollment in the Federal Free & Reduced Price Meal Program as a qualifier for our program.

The Holiday Wish Drive launches in early November and ends in December. Each Wish Card includes a person's name, age, gender, and wish. These specific wishes are sourced directly from partnering Bay Area social service agencies. In seven different counties throughout the Bay, these agencies collect specific gift wishes from children with whom they work year-round.

The Drive leader is responsible for facilitating donations within their group by posting the cards in a well-traveled area, sending friendly reminders, and building enthusiasm. Individuals have two ways to participate: select a backpack/wish card and shop for the requested item(s); or provide funds, either by mail or online, and allow us to purchase the items on your behalf. Wish drive leaders or volunteers are responsible for collecting, counting, and delivering the donations to our warehouse (location varies based on space donated). Once the drive is complete, our team distributes these gifts to low-income children and families via schools and social service agencies.


  • Companies Large Companies
  • Companies Small Companies
  • Companies Schools
  • Companies Social Clubs
  • Companies Families

Important Dates

June: Wish cards/drive materials sent
August 3rd: Backpacks Due!
September: Back to School Celebration Lunch

Date: Sept 22nd

Back to School Drive Luncheon

Date: September 22, 2015
Location: TBD

Join the Family Giving Tree as we celebrate our 2015 Back to School Drive! Host companies are welcome to join the Elves for an awards lunch. Details coming soon!

Virtual Giving Trees

Looking for an alternative for those who cannot purchase a physical gift? Setting up a custom Virtual Giving Tree is easy! This option makes participation possible for individuals without time to shop, or employees working remotely. It also offers the chance to give after the physical gift deadline has passed. Your custom Virtual Giving Tree includes a personalized webpage with your group’s logo and name as well as a continuously updated counter that tracks participation and total donations. For more information, email Heather, FGT Host Coordinator or call (408) 946-3111 Ext. 226

4 Tips For a Successful Drive

  • Display your posters and/or cards in very visible, heavily trafficked areas. Keep materials fully stocked, and motivate your group with a progress thermometer!

  • Have your advocates post materials and spread the word via email, social networking or even in person. Link to our YouTube channel or share pictures from our photo albums!

  • Reminders! A little motivation like candy or a notecard with announcements never hurts. Need help with your announcement? Contact us today!

  • Coordinate a launch event (lunch, ice cream social, dance party, etc.) and get your group excited about the Family Giving Tree. The more they know the more they’ll want to be involved.

Ready to lead your own drive? Let’s go!

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