Spreading Joy

Spreading Joy

Two Major Annual Drives

With the invaluable financial support of our donors and sponsors, committed volunteers and drive leaders, and in partnership with nonprofit agencies and schools, the Family Giving Tree stages two major drives each year to service those in need in our Bay Area communities.

The Back-to-School Drive –
Building a path out of poverty through learning

BTS 2023 Hero ImageAt retail, a backpack with STEAM supplies can range from $65 (Elementary) to $100 (High School). Unfortunately, children living in poverty start their school year at a great disadvantage. Without crucial school supplies, these students cannot fully participate in classroom activities or complete their homework.

The Back-to-School Drive was launched in 1995 with the goal of closing the educational gap for in-need K-12 students. Each summer, corporate and community Drive Leaders collect new backpacks full of essential, grade-appropriate school supplies for Bay Area students. In 2023, Family Giving Tree was able to provide nearly 28,000
backpacks to students through over 200 partner schools.

See how it works.


The Holiday Wish Drive – 
Bringing joy during the holidays by giving

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We believe that everyone should experience the joy of the holidays through the receipt of a gift and believe it should be something they wish for. In 2023, more than 44,000gifts – and smiles – were delivered through nearly 350 agencies.

To fulfill the exact holiday gift wish of a child, adult or senior in need may not seem like much, but for someone who may not otherwise receive a gift, it’s everything. That single, specially chosen gift lets them know that someone in the community is thinking of them.

Reaching so many

How have we been able to reach so many? Over the years, we've partnered with more than 600 schools, service agencies, and nonprofits, such as homeless shelters, community centers, rehabilitation houses, and various charitable organizations.

Beginning in August, nonprofit partners reach out to their clients to collect holiday wishes. They give Family Giving Tree the names and exact wishes and to print on wish cards or prepare them for our Virtual Giving Tree. Drive Leaders share these wish cards with their co-workers, peers, or group members who select one – or more – and shop to fulfill the wish(es). Drive Leaders then collect these gifts and drop them at our warehouse where they are sorted and organized for pick-up by agencies and schools.

See how it works.