Seedlings Planting Joy. Growing Hope. All while having a bit of fun.

Thank You, Drive Leaders

Celebrating Family Giving Tree's Dedicated DL’s

The 2018 Holiday Wish Drive Awards

There’s no better way to start a new blog than to thank the people who make our work possible! Last Wednesday, we hosted our Drive Leader Luncheon to honor the incredible efforts of our wonderful 2018 Holiday Wish Drive Leaders. Through their amazing organizing, they collected 66,935 gifts, which is up over 10,000 gifts from last year’s count of 56,107! Out of the 1,023 drives registered, 321 returned at least 100% of their gifts, many going further to bring in additional gifts. Our current return rate for gifts is 70%, and we can’t wait to see that number continue to climb in years to come!

During lunch, Executive Director of New Birth Recovery home, Kelvin Smith shared his experiences managing one of the agencies which receive the generous donations our DL’s bring in. He moved us all when he told the story of one boy who was ecstatic to open his donated NERF basketball set, because he saw it as a chance to play with (dunk on) Kelvin. Kelvin used this story to remind us of the importance of spending time with those we love. Whether they’re young children, seniors, teens, or homeless people of all ages, giving personally requested gifts to those who would otherwise go without is also a way of giving time, attention, and care. Our Drive Leaders understand this on a deep level, and put hours each drive into community outreach and organization, collection and delivery of gifts, and volunteering in our warehouse. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: We could not do this without the kindness and determination of our Drive Leaders, and our appreciation for them is just as enormous as their generosity.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Drive Leaders do, click on this link to visit our DL info page, or email driveleaders@fgt.org.

Our Winners

All of our DL’s are necessary members of the FGT community, but some go above and beyond. We’d like to offer special congratulations to our award winners who were standouts in an already wonderful HWD season:

Fantastic Friends of Family Giving Tree - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 5-99 donor category. They have demonstrated 5 years of dedicated participation.

Adesto Technologies - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 100-499 donor category. They have managed to fulfill 100%+ of their commitment each year.

Texas Instruments - Santa Clara - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 500-999 donor category. They have worked with us for over 25 years, and hosted our DL Luncheon, providing the inviting space and delicious food for our guests.

HPI Palo Alto - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 1,000-1,999 donor category. They have increased giving year over year even through changing Drive Leaders

Visa, Inc. - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 2,000-4,999 donor category. They have participated in the Holiday Wish Drive since 2010.

Google - Mountain View - Community Impact Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year in the 5,000 donor category. They have demonstrated fantastic and consistent year over year growth in drive donations.

Apple IS&T (Information Systems & Technology) - Golden Sprout Award, for best performance in donating gifts from a new drive. They coordinated donations across their 20-building complex.

Goombahs Car Club - Rising Star Award, for entering 2018 as a new drive, and going the extra mile to host an impressive and fun toy drive featuring decorated classic cars and Santa in a custom sleigh.

The Bay Club - Public Prodigy Award, for being our most prolific Public-facing drive leader. We commend them for their innovative use of TaskRabbit to get gifts to our warehouse from all over the Bay.

Saratoga High School - Youth In Action Award, for best performance in donating gifts and growth year over year, organizing students in the donation of gifts.

Google - Seattle - Ingenuity Award, for their incredible creativity in making their Wish Card display Google Seattle Display. They worked diligently to run a remote drive with us.

Cisco Systems Inc. - Friendship Circle Award, for their congeniality, going above and beyond to be a good partner, and determination to get every gift to us. They paid us 21 visits during the Holiday Drive.

Upcoming Events

Pi Day

FGT’s got our eyes on the pies!

On 3/14, we’ll be raising awareness of our work by leading a Pi Day campaign, and we need your help to spread the word. Using the hashtag, #PiFaceChallenge post a video of yourself getting "pied" with a challenge to your friends and coworkers to do the same! To accommodate those who would rather not have whipped cream in the face, include this link: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/pieday so they can bow out gracefully and donate instead. Spread the word - get pied, donate, or even better, both!

And, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Tea Villa

Once a week, a call goes out to the FGT office, and it’s followed by an ecstatic investigation into the offerings of this week’s Boba Place. Last Thursday, we ventured into the previously uncharted and incredibly sugary waters of Tea Villa, Milpitas scouring their sleek menu for bubblicious drinks both novel and classic. These are our findings…

Ordering Experience: 3 Bubbles - Extensive menu with a vast offering of drinks, snacks, and meals (like ramen!) but there are a lot of non-tea drinks that weren’t clearly labeled as non-tea on the menu, so it got a little confusing.

Taste Factor: 3 Bubbles - The tea was solid but the sweetness level is higher than other team places, so a tea order at 50% tasted closer to 75% sweet.

Novelty: 5 Bubbles - Mango Love Jelly was delightfully fun. They were in the form of cute little hearts floating all over the bottom of the tea and made our own hearts melt and squeal with joy. There was some concern that they wouldn’t fit through the boba straw, but the straw proved to be no match for delectable little hearts, which folded in on themselves as they came through the straw. Delightful!


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