As most of you know, I have been on the Board of Share a Gift for 27 years. This year, thanks to COVID, we are unable to have our toy drives in the schools. We are raising money to buy new toys and prepackage age appropriate gifts for the parents to do a drive by pick up. This is looking like a tough year with many parents out of work. Please consider a donation!
Share–A–Gift is an all-volunteer, secular annual holiday project that provides toys, books, and bicycles for children of low-income families in the Boulder Valley School District. Share–A–Gift is a 501(c)(3) under IRS rules and has operated as a non-profit, all-volunteer organization since 1972 -- nearly 50 years! Last year, we served 534 families, representing 1330 children, birth to age 14, through community donations. We expect the need this year to be even greater, due to the economic downturn and increased unemployment brought on by Covid-19.
In past years, volunteers have set up and organized a “Toy Shop” in a donated warehouse space where toys have been distributed to families-in-need. In 2019, 760 volunteers made this incredible event happen, for a total of 2500 volunteer hours! Because of Covid-19, our 2020 gift distribution will need to be run very differently. In order to keep everyone safe and healthy, we are planning a drive-by toy shop, with pre-sorted bags of gifts for each family and a very limited number of masked and socially-distanced volunteers.
In past seasons, Share–A–Gift has relied on donations of new and gently-used toys, books, games, puzzles, and bikes from families throughout the area, with collection events held at schools and businesses. This year, with BVSD schools shifting to online-learning and many businesses working remotely, these collections won't be possible. Instead, we are planning to focus on collecting used bicycles only and purchasing new toys, books, and games in bulk. For that, we need our community's financial help.
If you have supported Share-a-Gift in past years by donating toys or by volunteering your time, we hope you will support us this year with a monetary contribution. We hope to keep this important event going through this difficult period, so that we can return to normal operations in 2021. Gifts of any amount are appreciated! If we reach our goal of raising $55,000, we'll be able to budget $40 per child... a modest sum, but we will stretch those dollars! Please consider giving $40, $80, $120, or $160 -- to support one, two, three, or four children. Or give $500 and be one of our "Angel Supporters."