While many celebrate the holidays surrounded by loved ones and gifts, it is important to remember those who may be without, including local foster children, dependent adults and seniors.
The generosity of more than 90 local community partners and individuals from businesses, government agencies, service groups and families donate gifts that allow the County to continue to provide gifts year after year.
“Gifts from the Heart was a little different in 2020 because of the pandemic but that did not take away our holiday spirit,” said Tonja Edelman, Volunteer and Student Intern Services Coordinator. “Volunteers followed all face covering and social distancing mandates, and even took tables outside so that they could adequately maintain safe physical distancing during lunch! BIG thank you to the volunteers who sewed holiday masks for us or picked up bicycles to be assembled. We are so thankful for the generous gifts and contributions from local community partners and the volunteers have made the Gifts from the Heart program possible.”
The success of the Gifts from the Heart program not only lies with the kind sponsors but also with the wonderful volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours, helping to organize and distribute gifts. Each year, a team of more than 35 volunteers manage the pick-up, distribution and delivery of gifts from community and private sponsors. The volunteers, many of whom return year after year, spend weeks in the warehouse organizing toys and gifts to be delivered or picked up by social workers.
Jackson Properties donated a 16,000 square foot warehouse so the team could have plenty of room to social distance. Pizza Guys, Subway and Roma’s Pizza II provided lunches to the volunteers.
In 2020, program and community partner volunteers donated more than 9,292 hours at an estimated $292,813 value.
Gifts from the Heart provided more than 2,400 gifts to children, teens and seniors in Sacramento County during the 2020 holiday season at an estimated value of $144,540. The program welcomes all who are interested in participating by sponsoring gifts, becoming a community partner and volunteering time during the season.
The holiday season is not the only time you can donate or volunteer to support seniors in the community. Senior and Adult Services welcomes year-round donations. All gifts and monetary donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about Gifts from the Heart, become a community partner, make a donation or volunteer, contact Volunteer and Student Intern Services Coordinator, Tonja Edelman by email
or by phone at 916-875-2027.