In 2021, the program provided gifts to more than 2,500 youth, adults and seniors at an estimated cash value of $152,040.
They got Nerf balls, art supplies, scented candles, Disney princess toys, basketballs, Bluetooth speakers and more! The youngest recipient, Karl, age 1, received finger puppets, wooden puzzles, and a Lego train. The oldest, Quang, age 91, received queen bedsheets, postage stamps and a gift card to Wal-Mart.
Best of all, these foster youth, disabled adults and homebound seniors got a reminder over the winter holidays that they were not forgotten.
More than 80 individuals and corporate sponsors from businesses, government agencies, service groups and families donate gifts that allow the program to continue.
A team of 57 volunteers managed the pick-up, distribution, and delivery of gifts from community and private sponsors. The volunteers, many of whom return year after year, spend three weeks in the warehouse organizing toys and gifts. In 2021, volunteers logged in almost 10,000 hours.
Donations come in other forms, too. Jackson Properties donated warehouse space; and Sourdough & Co., Roma 2 Pizza, Pizza Guys and Subway provided lunches to hungry volunteers.
“This was our second year of taking precautions due to COVID-19, but we didn’t let it stop us,” said Tonja Edelman, Volunteer and Student Intern Services Coordinator. “We required volunteers to be fully vaccinated and we wore masks, and we got it done. We are so thankful for our volunteers and for the contributions from local community partners that make the program possible.”
The total cash value of the program – volunteers, donations, gifts - is estimated to be $476,612.
And the look on gift recipients’ faces? Priceless.
Gifts from the Heart welcomes everyone who is interested in participating by sponsoring gifts, becoming a community partner and volunteering time during the season. All donations are tax deductible. To learn more email Tonja Edelman
or call her at 916-875-2027.