Giving Tree FAQ’s
STM Giving Tree
St. Thomas More’s Giving Tree program brightens the Christmas of families in our local community who are having difficulties making ends meet.
The gifts tags will be hung until all have been taken. The agencies that we are sponsoring this year are:
• STM chapter of St. Vincent de Paul
• Jerusalem House
• Catholic Charities Atlanta
• Grace House
• Out of Darkness – Atlanta Dream Center
TIP: Take a photo of your ornament with your phone, so you have it with you when shopping or if it gets misplaced we can replace it!
Return, Sort and Deliver
Return deadline: In order to have enough time to deliver all the gifts to the organizations and families, we will need all gifts returned to the parish no later than 6:30pm on December 5th. We ask that gifts be delivered as requested on the tags (wrapped or unwrapped) with the tags securely attached to the package. Please do not leave unattended or unsolicited gifts in the narthex during the week.
Sorting and Delivering: On Sunday, December 5, following the 5:30pm Mass: we will sort all of the gifts and prepare them to be picked up by the agencies and families or prepare them for delivery on Monday, December 6th. We always welcome volunteers to help with set-up, sorting, bagging, runners, delivery and clean-up.
Thank you for participating in our Giving Tree Program!
STM Giving Tree Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there gift card tags on the tree?
We try to give families what they requested. Oftentimes gift cards are used to purchase groceries for their holiday meal or pay utilities.
Some families receive a Target or Wal-Mart card for other incidentals.
Most teens request a gift card rather than an item. Occasionally, we are unable to determine an exact size, a gift card allows the person to purchase what is needed.
I took a gift card tag for a particular store, can I substitute it or add an additional gift?
Many times the card is just a suggestion (for example a teenager or the family most likely shops at xyz-store). If you wish to wrap the card with something like a box of candy it is fine; generally we receive the cards back in an envelope with the tag securely fastened on the outside.
Why is it so important to “securely” tape the tag to the gift?
The tag is how we know who is supposed to receive the gift. We want the gifts to go to the right families on the first try! When the tags fall off or can’t be read by the volunteers who are sorting the gifts, we often can’t identify who is to receive the gift. When that happens, someone does not receive a Christmas present. Take a picture of your ornament, so you have it with you when you are shopping or in case it gets misplaced!!
What happens if I don’t bring the gift to church by 6:30pm on December 5th?
We sort the gifts right after the 5:30pm Mass on December 5th. Some of the gifts are immediately loaded into the cars, vans and trucks of our wonderful volunteers and delivered to the families or they are readied for pick-up by families and agencies on the following day. If gifts are brought back later, we cannot always get them to the recipient before Christmas.
How do you choose the items that are on the tags?
In October, we reach out to the ministries in our Parish that are helping those in need of assistance such as St. Vincent de Paul and Jerusalem House. They identify families and individuals that will take part in the Giving Tree.
We also contact various local agencies that we work with to figure out how many families or individuals from each agency we can assist. We give them a deadline, usually early November, to provide us with the information about the people they want us to help.
What do the tags really say?
The information on the tag usually includes:
• An acronym or a number to identify the family or organization (e.g. CCA for Catholic Charities Atlanta)
• Age and gender of the person or the more generic “Family”, Mom or Dad label
• The gift to purchase. If the gift is clothing, it should also include a size.
• The tags often include general supplies and pantry items (e.g. diapers, school supplies). Those should NOT be wrapped and will only include organization acronym.
I want to participate but there were no more tags on the trees?
Please contact us as soon as possible. We often have additional tags that didn’t make it on the trees. We will be happy to help you.
For further information…
Please contact Pam Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org