DEI Statement

 

We are one people with one family. We all live in the same house… and through books, through information, we must find a way to say to people that we must lay down the burden of hate. For hate is too heavy a burden to bear.” —Congressman John Lewis

Every day for 30 years, we have worked to improve the lives of children from low–income families in our small corner of this vast planet. While a wished-for holiday gift or a brand new backpack filled with school supplies may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, it means the world to a child who has next to nothing or lives under the weight of racism. These simple offerings instill hope and bring joy; they let them dream. Perhaps one of these young dreamers will make all the difference for countless of us someday. Maybe they will change the world profoundly. Or live a quiet life helping others. Family Giving Tree is committed to giving every child that chance. Our programs show them they matter—and their community cares—regardless of where they came from, who they are, or their skin color.

John Lewis was one such child. Born a sharecropper’s son, he carried the burden yet rose to become a civil rights activist and leader, author, and statesman. He continued to dream and became the voice of his generation—and this nation—for equal rights. His own words say it best, and we should listen: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful. Be optimistic.”

Recent issues of race and inclusion have rocked our society and remind us that everyone has the potential to make a difference and should have the opportunity to do so, regardless of race, ethnicity, or social standing. Yet too often the powerless, those who need our help the most, are the ones whose voices resound the least. Voices silenced by neglect, distrust, suppression, and in some cases, even hatred.

Each person who experiences racial injustice—no matter what form, started life in the same hopeful place we all do—as children. We all can recall the look on a child's face when they learn something new or anticipate something special; when they strive to overcome and succeed; when they delight in the unexpected. It melts our hearts, makes us smile, and gives us hope for their future. Yet we also witness how inequality and the resulting poverty and lack of access to educational or essential resources quickly tarnishes joy, represses hope, and closes the door to possibilities. We will continue to stand against these dominant forces.

The Family Giving Tree envisions a world where simple acts of giving and personal generosity bring joy, offer hope, and open possibilities. It's how we strive to bring about a better world, one child—one person, at a time.

We will continue to look forward to and work toward a world where doors are open to all. With unwavering hope, we anticipate a better society while recognizing the precious lives lost and dreams unrealized.

 

Jenn Cullenbine Founder and CEO signature

Jennifer Cullenbine
Founder & CEO