2017 Family Giving Tree Report - December 2017

Rena Gong

For many children, it is a dream come true to wake up on Christmas morning and discover neatly wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. However, for many families in the Bay Area, presents and a tree are hard-earned, nearly unaffordable luxuries. That’s why during the 2017 holiday season, GLI’s Ashley Zhuang led a project to donate gifts to and volunteer for Family Giving Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive.

In the third year of GLI’s participation in the Holiday Wish Drive, GLI members generously donated over 80 gifts. These gifts, ranging from toys to school supplies to household items, fulfilled both general and specific wishes. For specific wishes, recipient families and organizations created lists of what they hoped to receive for the holiday season, and Family Giving Tree passed these lists out to those participating in the donations.

Members also volunteered at the Family Giving Tree warehouse, sorting and packaging presents to be shipped out to the families and organizations. On the last day, volunteers were tasked with decorating a wall of boxes in preparation for a party for a recipient organization. For more than four hours, GLI members and other volunteers worked together using just wrapping paper, scissors, and tape to transform them into giant present boxes covered in an assortment of Christmas trees, reindeer, snowflakes, candy canes, and bows.

GLI’s participation with Family Giving Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive was truly a positive experience all around. Not only did volunteers gain experience and commit to a good cause, they helped disadvantaged children and parents alike feel special during the holiday season. So while Santa may not be real, the act of charity and a good bit of volunteering can certainly make anyone’s day brighter just the same.