October 15, 2021

Winter Family Giving brings accessibility and autonomy to gift shopping.

Mentors share their families' experience with our Winter Family Giving program

At Friends of the Children–Seattle, our Winter Family Giving program increases our families’ autonomy to buy gifts and necessities during the winter season. Our generous donors provide gift cards to fulfill families’ wish lists. “It allows the families to do what they need to do [during the winter holidays],” said professional mentor Shaye. “[This process] makes [Winter Family Giving] a more equitable experience.”

Families often request gift cards to grocery and clothing stores that are all within walking distance or reachable via bus line. This process makes gift shopping more accessible so caregivers can shop for what best suits their family. Financial autonomy is a big deal, according to professional mentor Bryan. He mentioned that, “even a $50 gift card to Ross would [allow a parent] be able to buy that perfect piece of furniture rather than a more generic gift.” One family faced an unexpected emergency last winter, and with Bryan’s support they received Winter Family Giving gift cards that helped resolve the financial situation and cover Christmas gifts.

To make the gift cards a little more special, some mentors make a fun package to give their families. “Even though some gift cards were paper. I was able to make them fun and pretty,” said Shaye. “I got to personalize it a little, and I added something special to each family.” Shaye said that after the holidays, a few families texted to thank her for the gift cards because the kids loved their gifts.

We're so thankful to our community for giving time and resources to fill our families' wish lists. This generosity starts a gift-giving chain that creates meaningful moments for our youth and their families from start to finish.