Courtesy of SCHS Creative Media Representatives
Every year, the SCHS leadership class helps organize the Family Giving Tree gift drive that aims to provide gifts to children and people in need during the holiday season. This year, the drive went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ran from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7.
Even with all promotion for donations moved online, the amount donated exceeded expectations.
“We did really well this year with our donations and raised more than our $1,000 goal,” senior and Community Service Coordinator Alexandra Ferguson said. “Our final total was $1,222.86.”
Many felt SCHS leadership students made donating simple and safe this year through teaming up with the Family Giving Tree organization and using their website – where the choice of two different donations could be made – to run the event. A donor may choose to pay for a specific wished-for gift Gifts lists were organized by age, gender and price, and the website also provided the name of the person to whom the gift will go.
An alternative method of giving was to donate money. Monetary donations were organized by amount: $20 supports a gift for a child, $35 supports a gift for an adult, $70 supports gifts for two teens, $210 supports gifts for at least five seniors, and $360 supports gifts for a multi-generational family, according to the Family Giving Tree website.
Not only does The Family Giving Tree provide its recipients with gifts, but donations are also used to supply hygienic necessities and everyday items.
“Not having the drive would leave a lot of families without things that could be beneficial to them,” Ferguson said. “The Family Giving Tree isn’t just about toys for kids. It also gives them toothbrushes and hygiene products, and the gifts for adults and seniors are usually things that help them in their daily lives.”
Ferguson believes the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a difficult year for many, increasing the necessity for a Family Giving Tree drive. Many families all over the Bay Area cannot afford Christmas gifts, and the Family Giving Tree provides a chance for many of these families to receive both gifts and necessities.
“A lot of people are having bad years. It’s just a fact. So many people have lost their jobs, and it’s been a hard year for a lot of people,” Ferguson said. “This event spreads cheer to the people who are already low income. In these times, it’s very important to make people smile and feel better if you can, and this is a really good way.”