This holiday season, Family Giving Tree is on track to reach our 2 millionth recipient! To celebrate this milestone, we are sharing six stories from our past to help us remember our journey to 2 million, how far we've come, and the many helping hands that brought us here.
Read the fourth story:
"Having worn many Family Giving Tree hats for well over a decade now, I have journeyed alongside this organization as we have worked our way towards our 2 millionth recipient. From being a donor, Drive Leader, volunteer, and now employee, I’ve had the joy of experiencing multiple facets of what Family Giving Tree offers to nearly every constituent group it touches and each one is a special experience of its own.
I was first introduced to Family Giving Tree when I worked in corporate. My colleagues and I found so much fun and satisfaction in picking out wish cards and hitting our local stores together as a team during our lunch breaks to shop and fulfill wishes for so many in the community that we didn’t know. It just felt so good to be able to do something we enjoyed (shopping, spending time together outside of the office), knowing that it was also benefiting some wonderful people in our community that we may never otherwise connect with.
Some of my most favorite memories over the past few years as a staff member have been experiencing the enthusiasm and generosity of our Drive Leaders. People in the Bay Area have come from all walks of life to find creative ways to raise awareness about the community's need and to answer the call. One of our returning favorites has been a local classic car enthusiast group, the Goombahs Car Club. They have done a Christmas Lights Cruise Car Show in San Jose for the past few holidays and bring so much joy to the community in encouraging the creativity of decorating classic cars and giving people a reason to come together, celebrate, and donate.
When we first met the Goombahs Car Club, we did not know what to expect, but they brought an amazing spectacle to our warehouse when they drove their trailer filled with over 500 gifts from their event, with items ranging from stuffed animals to bikes. Combining their love for classic cars, Christmas, and caring for their community, they are one of the many key players in our journey to 2 million." - Evelyn Huynh, Community Outreach and Membership at Family Giving Tree
Read the third story:
"I remember one particular Holiday Wish Drive in 2013; I was asked to research traumatic brain injuries in children. I found that odd since I couldn't see how brain injuries related to our Back-to-School or Holiday Wish Drive. Later, I learned that many children who ask for scooters and skateboards during the holidays don't have protective gear like helmets or elbow/knee pads. As a child, when I received a scooter, it was almost a given that I'd get a helmet, too. I was fortunate to receive one and realized that what I took for granted was not guaranteed to many others. Over the many years I've been with Family Giving Tree, I've been given the opportunity to help guarantee a helmet and provide the gift of safety for thousands of children who wish for a scooter or skateboard during the holidays. I am so proud to work for an organization that not only uplifts people's spirits but also looks out for their well-being." - Amelia Johnson, Individual Giving Officer at Family Giving Tree
Read the second story:
"In 2020, we were able to uplift 300-400 individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. That year we all had to learn to pivot and adapt quickly. One of the ways Family Giving Tree did this was by reaching out to the agencies we partner with about improving items that would strongly benefit our recipients who were unhoused. We learned that better-quality sleeping bags and tents were needed. Fortunately, we were given the incredible opportunity to partner with Coleman Camping Company to provide weatherproof sleeping bags and tents that would last for years!" - Kristyn Begari, Purchasing Coordinator at Family Giving Tree
Read the first story: