MILPITAS, CA (January 12, 2016) — Each year, the Bay Area Alumni Chapter (BAAC) signs up to host or sponsor children for Family Giving Tree‘s annual holiday drive. This year was no exception. The Alumni Chapter signed up for a Virtual Giving Tree.
The Family Giving Tree brings hope and joy to those in need. The Bay Area ranks as one of the world’s most affluent areas, yet more than 800,000 Bay Area residents are living at or below the poverty line and one out of every four children here lives in poverty. Since the organization’s creation just over 20 years ago, they have provided gifts or backpacks to more than 1.2 million children and counting.
Jessica Hill, organizer and leader of the toy drive, shares her experience with Family Giving Tree over the past few years. “BAAC has been volunteering annually at Family Giving Tree since 2007, helping sort and wrap gifts to be distributed to over 200 agencies in the SF Bay Area. Family Giving Tree is a local non-profit that engages support from the entire Bay Area through the generosity and support of companies, churches, schools, and organizations (i.e. BAAC). This organization has granted over 1 million children their exact wish for Christmas since its inception. The BAAC became a “host” group for Family Giving Tree beginning in 2010, where our members have the opportunity to sign up to donate gifts to the children. This year, our members helped provide gifts to 60 children.”
For the Bay Area’s volunteer event, they created two different segments. The first segment is to donate unwrapped new gifts for a child between $25-$40; the second, to sort and organize those gifts in the Family Giving Tree warehouse. This annual event occasionally struggles to engage the newer alumni members, but once they see the impact their alumni chapter makes, the next year they are quick to volunteer. The event itself goes off without a hitch every year, in part because the volunteers are in no rush to get in and out of the event. They come to contribute and make a difference. “Maybe it’s because AKPsi brothers are generally superstars anyway, but I love to see how efficiently and collaboratively things come together,” says Mason Richman of the Bay Area Alumni Chapter.
|“I can’t say enough good things about AKPsi and how great all the members are. I had the opportunity to bring my whole family this year and the kids (ages 4 and 5) were included in the activity with open arms. Warms my heart to start volunteering at a young age and instill values as such a young age. Starting my future AKPsi-ers work ethic now!” – Beth McLean|