Holiday Giving at Friendly House
Our Holiday Giving program is about making sure community members who may be lonely, isolated, or financially struggling know they are cared for. Open to our Children’s Program participants receiving scholarships and their siblings, and also our case-managed older adult clients, we make sure that everyone feels noticed and included… but we need your help!
What It Looks Like
Families with children submit a list of three gifts under $40 that each child would like to receive, and in mid-December we provide the parents with the requested gifts, gift wrap and tape—a respectful way to allow families who might have less to feel abundance for the holiday season. For our older adult case-managed clients, many of whom are isolated, and most of whom have extremely limited incomes, we bring together volunteers each December to create handmade holiday cards for them. These cards are mailed in mid-December along with a $25 gift card to their nearest supermarket. For some, this is the only gift they receive all year.
Unfortunately, due to the number of people we serve and the capacity of our current donations, we can only make this giving program available for families and older adults served by Friendly House or referrals from partner agencies.
How You Can Help
We need donations of $25 grocery store gift cards, new gifts purchased from our Amazon wish list, gift wrap and tape. We are in need of both individuals and families to purchase gifts or donate money towards purchases. We are also looking for businesses that are willing to host a holiday giving tree with tags available for either their staff or open to the public. We are also looking for volunteers to join us to make cards for our senior clients.
How You Can Help
We need donations of $25 grocery store gift cards, new gifts specified on children’s wish lists, gift wrap and tape. We are looking for both individuals and families to donate as well as businesses that are able to host a giving tree with tags reflecting these needs. Businesses can either make the giving opportunity available for their staff or open to the public depending on their preference. We are also looking for volunteers to join us to make cards for our senior clients.
A gift recipient’s response to Friendly House.
Friendly House asked me if I wanted our family to be the recipients of Christmas gifts. I didn’t know what that meant. Truly, I thought it would be a Friendly House t-shirt or something. And I would have been grateful. The way the parenting time worked out during my separation, the only time I had when I wasn’t working and child-free was between 1:30 and 5 on Sundays. That’s not a lot of time to clean, do laundry, food shop, and possibly, if I’m lucky, catch up with a friend, let alone find the time to do Christmas shopping. And even if I did, the cost was going to set me back financially. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. When I picked up the gifts from Friendly House and saw what was in the bag, all I could do was cry. Each and every present was so perfect for my children. They were so thoughtful and good quality, and there were so dang many of them. I was so grateful and relieved, I think I cried happy, astonished tears for two days. Now that was a gift.
A few more thoughts from Holiday Giving recipients.
“Thank you for the gift. You are the only people who cared.”
“Thank you for the $25 gift card. What a treat. I bought a pie and three salads!”
“What a nice surprise to receive the gift card and handmade card! Quite honestly, I don’t think I have ever received a gift card.”
“Thank you so much for the gift card. I used it wisely, it is so wonderful not to be forgotten!”