Soroptimist Community- 30 Years of giving
The Community Christmas Tree Project is a one-on-one gift giving project sponsored annually, which commences the Saturday before Thanksgiving through December 18. The project is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization – Tax ID number 77-0435675. The project provides for individuals to donate and participate in a gift-giving program for disadvantaged Modesto youths, from birth to 17 years, which is a true partnership between the community and businesses to make a difference in Modesto.
As a direct result of this project, thousands of youth in Modesto this year will receive Christmas gifts. For many of these children, the gifts they receive through this project are the only gifts that they receive for Christmas or any other time of the year. For some children, it is their only opportunity to receive new clothing since they are used to wearing hand-me-downs or other used clothing. It is also an opportunity for many of these children to receive warm coats, shoes and blankets, which are greatly needed, and to receive a new toy purchased especially for them! (All children in the family from birth to 17 years are included.)
How Does It Work?
Sponsored by Vintage Faire Mall and KHOP 95.1FM, a Christmas tree is erected at Vintage Faire Mall, on the upper level directly across from the Food Court. Tags are placed on the tree with the names of the children. The tag indicates the child’s first name, age, gender, clothing, and shoe sizes, as well as a Christmas gift wish and a needed item. Our Kiosk is set up adjacent to the tree and opens on Saturday Nov. 21 through Dec. 18th and we are staffed daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. by Soroptimist members and community volunteers, with limited hours on Nov. 21, 22, 25, 28 and 29. We are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
An individual selects a tag and checks it out, like one would check out a library book, then goes out and shop for that child and bring the gifts back to the service booth with the tag. The gift and tag are then checked in and matched up with a parental permission slip from the referring agency or school. The gift is taken to our processing facility, where the gift is wrapped by volunteers and stored until the referring agency picks up the gift for delivery to the child before Christmas. (Both the donor and child remain anonymous to each other.)
To insure that all children receive a gift, we accept cash donations from the general public and local businesses. These monetary contributions are very much appreciated, as they are used to purchase blankets and backpacks, as well as warm clothing for those children whose tags are not chosen or whose gifts are not returned to the tree.All donations are tax deductable and can be mailed directly to us at SCCT, PO Box 1353, Modesto, CA 95353.
Who Are the Referring Agencies?
The referring agencies to the Soroptimist Community Christmas Tree Project cover a very diverse population in Modesto. These agencies are a critical part of the project because they determine the child’s eligibility based on need and economic situation, as well as the responsibility of distributing the gifts to each child personally. The referring agencies include:
- Community Housing & Children’s Services Homeless children in temporary shelters.
- Haven Women’s Shelter Children of women in shelters due to domestic violence.
- Hutton House – Temporary Shelter for Teens with no place to go.
- Modesto City Schools/Child Development Children from the Head Start program and other children from low-income families.
- Vintage Faire Mall 3401 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356