With the weather cooling down, we are quickly approaching the holiday season.
Every year we are left speechless by the overwhelming generosity of our donors who make the holidays so much brighter for those who have survived abuse. Last year alone, we were able to provide holiday gifts to over 300 families (equaling over 900 people!). Since the pandemic began, our intake line has been busier than ever. We expect this year’s program will see an even greater need. Without you, the REACH Holiday Gift Program could not happen.
In past years, families would compile a holiday wish list, which REACH staff would then pass on to a donor who would shop for the items. Our goal was to provide each family member with four gifts, each in the $25 range. But with the many ways COVID-19 has impacted so many lives and traditions, the REACH Holiday Gift program will also look a bit different this year. Because of all that is going on, we have decided that instead of providing physical gifts for families this year, we will be focusing the program solely on donations of Target gift cards.
Over the past few months, REACH’s staff have discussed how to hold onto the myriad pieces of the program. We want to continue to provide financial assistance to families who need it, continue to provide an opportunity for community, connection, and social involvement among donors and volunteers, and prioritize the physical safety of donors, volunteers, staff, and survivors – all while holding so much uncertainty about what the next few months will bring. Being able to collect physical gifts is definitely a challenge for most folks and the ability to organize and distribute them poses significant challenges for us while maintaining the social distancing COVID guidelines in place right now, much less what they might be in December.
To sustain the magic of this program, we need more donors than ever to support this work. Our goal is to provide $100 worth of Target gift cards for each person we are working with. Donors may choose the family size they are willing to sponsor (single individual, adult and one child, adult and two children, adult and three children, etc.) and either purchase physical gift cards in $25 or $50 increments, or make a donation through our website for the Holiday Gift Program and we will purchase the gift cards on your behalf. (Please note, we are not able to accept e-gift cards).
We have chosen to limit the program to only include Target gift cards to create a safer logistical experience for our staff, volunteers, and participants. Target will allow more access for those who would like to shop for traditional gifts, as well as those who need essential items like household goods, groceries, or cleaning supplies, as well as opportunities to shop both in-person or online.
If you are able to be a donor for this year’s Holiday Gift Program, please email Lizzy Dugan firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the size family for whom you would like to purchase gift cards. We plan to collect all gift cards from donors by Wednesday, November 25th so we can distribute them to families during the first week of December in order to ensure they have enough time to shop before the holidays.