Holiday Wish Drive FAQs

Click on any question to see the answer in the expanded area. If you have questions that are not answered below, please contact us.


Questions About the Holiday Wish Drive

Yes! FGT partners with more than 200 agencies to gather the exact wishes of Bay Area residents in need. The name and wish you see are actual children, seniors, and homeless adults being helped by our partner agencies.

When FGT commits to providing a gift, we take that commitment very seriously. To ensure that everyone on our list gets their gift, FGT actually distributes two copies of each wish card to the public with the hope that at least one gift is purchased. Generally, about 40% of all wish cards are not returned with a gift. If neither wish card for a gift is returned, warehouse volunteers shop at our Holiday Wish Drive warehouse “store” to find a gift that best fits the wish, and that gift is given to the recipient so no one goes without.

Every single recipient whose name is on a wish card will receive a holiday gift from FGT, whether their wish tag is returned or not. Unfulfilled wish tags are matched with the best option from our Holiday Wish Drive warehouse “store” prior to their assigned agency pickup time.

This doesn’t happen often but when it does, we have a system in place. If both copies of the same wish card are returned with a gift attached, our trusted warehouse staff and volunteers have a decision to make. The gift that best fits the listed first wish will remain with the gift tag. The alternate gift will be moved to our Holiday Wish Drive warehouse “store” where it will be used for another unfulfilled wish which was not returned. All donated gifts are given to qualifying recipients during the holiday season through our partner agencies.

The Holiday Wish Drive “store” at the warehouse holds thousands of donated and Family Giving Tree bulk purchased items for distribution during the Drive. Any gifts donated without a wish tag or any duplicate gifts are placed here until a volunteer matches it with an unfulfilled wish tag.


Yes! But be aware that late gifts may not go to the exact child or recipient listed on the wish card if their agency has already picked up their allotted gifts. Our 200+ partner agencies begin picking up from our warehouse just a few days after Drop-off Day. This makes it incredibly important for all wishes to be returned on time. If your gift is late, your gift may be reassigned to another child or recipient whose similar wish has gone yet unfulfilled or be used as a gift option in our warehouse "store" for recipients on our waitlist. Rest assured, ALL donated gifts will bring joy to their recipient and are distributed to our partner agencies - even those late arrivals!

With over 350,000 children living in-need right here in the Bay Area, there is unfortunately always a greater need for holiday gifts than FGT is currently able to fill. Any gifts left in our warehouse “store” at the end of the Holiday Wish Drive are distributed to agencies on our waitlist who are always excited to receive the items.


Questions About Gifts

A baseball glove or mitt is described by the handedness of the intended wearer, rather than the hand on which the glove is worn: a glove that fits on the left hand—used by a right-handed thrower—is called a right-handed (RH) or "right-hand throw" (RHT) glove. Conversely, a left-handed glove (LH or LHT) is worn on the right hand, allowing the player to throw the ball with the left hand.

To the best of your ability, try to decipher what the name might mean. For example, the name “Maria-male” likely indicates that the child’s name is Maria but that they identify as a boy so choose a gift accordingly. Another example might be a senior who is asking for an infant activity mat so think “grandparent” and buy the gift requested. 

Many of our recipient organizations identify their clients as having special needs but only some are noted as such on the wish card. For example, an 18-year-old boy might want a learning toy that would be intended for a kindergartner (developmental issues); or a 25-year-old adult requested a large print book (sight issues). In general, the wishes reflect the true need so best to purchase what was requested.

Those recipients noted as homeless on a wish card are usually under the care of an agency that is assisting them in transitioning into some sort of housing. As with anyone moving into a new space, they are in need of household items in order to set up their new room or apartment.

If you don’t think the size matches the age, for example, if a wish card for a 13-year-old male asks for a size 4 pair of shoes, please purchase what you think is the appropriate size and include the receipt with the gift.

Our partner nonprofit agencies will begin gift pick-up from the Family Giving Tree warehouse on December 15. Although we cannot guarantee that gifts donated after this date will go directly to the child listed on the card, we will ensure all donated gifts go to children on our waiting list. Should you find yourself with late donations, please do drop off those gifts at Family Giving Tree's Holiday Wish Drive warehouse through December 23. 

We have worked hard to ensure all wishes can be found easily and are both price & age-appropriate. If you find that an exact match of the primary wish, please look at the secondary or alternative wish that is listed. If you are unable to find either, choose an alternative gift within the same genre of the original wish (e.g. toys, athletic wear, electronics). If you still find that you are unable to fulfill the wish, please contact us by phone: 408-946-3111. We appreciate the time you take to fulfill each wish.

Most recipients of these gifts do not have access to preventative healthcare. A toothbrush is a small but powerful help for these individuals. If you can't purchase one, we will have them at the warehouse to include with the gift.

Please do NOT wrap the gift(s) before dropping them off. Many of our agencies do not want them wrapped. For those agencies that prefer the gift-wrapped, that will be done by volunteers at our warehouse once the gifts have been sorted.

Completing the form helps us count and track all the gifts we receive. It makes our job in the warehouse much easier and ensures that your group receives the proper credit for your generous donation.

Questions About Wish Cards

If you lose a wish card, please attach a piece of paper to your gift, listing as much information as you can recall from the original wish card and we will do our best to match it at the warehouse.

Because we accept late gifts in order to fulfill wishes on our waiting list, we encourage Drive Leaders to display the wish cards for as long as possible. However, when our Holiday Wish Drive has finished, leftover cards may be returned to the Family Giving Tree Holiday Wish Drive warehouse or our office in Milpitas. Please return leftover cards in an envelope labeled with your groups name.

Congratulations (and thank you!) on exceeding your expectations! Please contact our office and we will gladly mail out more cards ASAP. Every gift is another wish granted, more joy delivered to someone who needs it most during the holidays. You may also email us at [email protected] or call us at 408.946.3111 x226 to request additional wish cards.

Questions About the Virtual Giving Tree

The Virtual Giving Tree (VGT) allows you to fulfill a wish online. By making a donation to support a wish you enable FGT to bulk purchase those gifts listed on the VGT site and support running the Holiday Wish Drive.

As much as we'd love for all of the financial donations raised through the VGT to support just gifts, there would be no way for us to help the recipients we serve if we cannot use some funds to cover costs. Things like trucking, equipment rental for the warehouse, and shipping are just a few of the necessary expenses we incur to deliver gifts. Rest assured, we pour every dollar we can into the programs that benefit our recipients, especially in a year like this. Still, there would be no way for organizations like ours to continue our efforts to serve the community without apportioning funds as we do.


Yes. You can host a VGT and share the link with family and friends. All you need to do is sign-up as a Drive Leader and request a VGT be assigned to you during that portion of registration. Upon registering you'll receive an email 2-3 days later with instructions about set-up and customization. You'll be given a unique URL and password to manage the site through January 15th.

To sign-up as a Drive Leader, click here.

All VGTs remain live until midnight on January 15th.

Questions About the Warehouse and Gift Drop-off

For the 2021 Holiday Wish Drive, there will be two warehouses:

• Warehouse A is located at 1320 Orleans Drive Sunnyvale, CA 94089

• Warehouse B is located at 1311 Orleans Drive Sunnyvale, CA 94089

To determine at which warehouse you should drop off gifts, refer to your wish cards. Each card has an 'A' or 'B' followed by a 3-digit number and your batch of cards should all be of the same group - A or B. For example, if the number on one of the cards is A201 your drop gifts at the A warehouse. If one is B307 you drop off at Warehouse B. 

All gift drop-offs will be by appointment only. To sign up for a drop-off slot, you can sign up here for Warehouse A and here for Warehouse B.

Refer to the drop-off guidelines for specific drop-off instructions.

Gifts should be delivered to Family Giving Tree's Holiday Wish Drive warehouse by Thursday, December 9th. Please count your gifts and complete the drop-off form. Bring this form with you to the warehouse. For warehouse and drop-off hours, see the calendar.

All gift drop-offs will be by appointment only. To sign up for a drop-off slot use the correct link below.

This year we have three remote drop-off locations. All locations will be accepting gifts from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on the date specified only. Do not bring donations before or after these hours or on any other day than the one noted.

Drop-offs will be by appointment only. Please sign up for an appointment by clicking the link.

Tuesday, December 7
Arriba Juntos, 1850 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Appointment sign-up

Wednesday, December 8th
3Crosses Church, 20600 John Dr, Castro Valley, CA 94546
Appointment sign-up

Thursday, December 9th
Town & Country Village Shopping Plaza, Suite 20, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (see map)
Appointment sign-up

Refer to the drop-off guidelines for specific drop-off instructions.



No. Unfortunately, Family Giving Tree does not have the resources to pick-up from the hundreds of Drive Leaders who support us.