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December 16, 2009 > Executives play Santa's elves for kids

Executives play Santa's elves for kids

By Meenu Gupta

Around holiday season the Family Giving Tree (FGT) warehouse looks like Santa's workshop brimming with over 50,000 gifts. Silicon Valley executives and CEO's are seen in Santa hats sorting, competing and laughing in a fun competitive environment. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, the non-profit organization has served more than 750,000 children and adults over the past two decades, making it one of the largest gift and backpack donation programs in California. The 2009 warehouse space is donated by NVIDIA of Santa Clara with more than 6,000 volunteers expected to work there. "This season, more than 50,000 low income children will receive gifts and clothing through the Family Giving Tree's Holiday Wish Drive," said Executive Assistant Elf, Dawn Frownfelter. The Executive Elf Challenge is hosted to share the holiday spirit among executives of the FGT host companies while helping the needy.

This event is open to everyone, not just executives. "The fee is $20 per team of 4-6 members to help cover the cost of essential items like shoes, coats and blankets for the families and children we serve," said Media Coordinator, Alex Ralston. The first 50 teams of 4-6 members to send in an application will be enrolled automatically; any additional sign ups will be placed on the waiting list. "We need more gifts, and people can find wish cards at their local Wells Fargo Bank and at some Peet's Coffee & Tea Stores," said Ralston. Gifts can also be dropped off at any participating branch office of Wells Fargo Bank.

Last year the event was a huge success. This year several companies including ARM, Aruba Networks, Inc., Berger/Lewis Accountancy Corporation, Cafe Press, Cisco Systems, Courtside Club, Danger, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel, Inc., Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intuit, Kaiser, MIPS Technologies Inc., Morrison Foerster, NetApp, PG&E, Real- Time Innovations, Inc., The Sobrato Organization, Stryker Endoscopy, Synopsys, Tech CU, Wells Fargo, West Valley Staffing Group, Xoft, Inc., Yahoo! Inc are participating. "Our volunteer shifts are full, but donations of cash or gifts can be brought to our warehouse in Santa Clara starting Tuesday, December 15," said Frownfelter. "We are so appreciative of the host companies that are willing and able to give their employees time to participate in a fun event and help the underprivileged at the same time, considering these challenging times." If you cannot visit the warehouse you may choose to make a monetary donation online at, which will be used to purchase gifts for children who otherwise will never receive any.

Holiday Wish Drive Executive Elf Challenge
Thursday, December 17
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Family Giving Tree Warehouse
2400 Condensa St., Santa Clara
(408) 946-3111

$20 per team

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