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May 24, 2011 > Family Giving Tree kicks off back-to-school drive

Family Giving Tree kicks off back-to-school drive

Submitted By Barbara Lewis

In an effort to meet the increased need among low-income students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Family Giving Tree (, seeks 100 additional host organizations to participate in its 16th Annual Back to School Drive. One hundred new hosts will enable the nonprofit to reach its goal of sending 20,000 disadvantaged children off to school next fall with the tools they need to be successful, backpacks filled with school supplies.

From 2008 through 2010, the number of children in need grew significantly with 22,500 additional Bay Area children becoming eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced-Price Meal program in the four primary counties Family Giving Tree serves, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco. This represents a 9.7 percent increase.

With additional host participation, Family Giving Tree will be able to serve approximately 2,000 more school children than in 2010. Last year, the program benefited 18,000 students at 117 schools and human services agencies.

"The bottom line is that the more host companies participate, the more children we can serve," says Family Giving Tree COO David Bratton-Kearns. "Our Back-to-School drive is a simple and easy way for hosts to benefit their communities, involve their employees and/or customers in a fun and affirming project, and enable more kids to start back to school with a smile on their faces and the confidence that they are prepared to learn."

The Back to School Drive operates much like Family Giving Tree's Holiday Wish program. Wish cards are sent to host companies and organizations to be displayed on colorful posters, which Family Giving Tree provides. Individuals may take a card and shop for a new backpack and fill it with the recommended school supplies or donate money by mail or online at for purchase of the items by Family Giving Tree. The backpacks are collected, sorted at warehouse space donated by NVIDIA, and distributed to low-income students via teachers and school service agencies.

Companies and organizations interested in becoming hosts for the 2011 Back to School Drive may contact Host Coordinator Alex Ralston at (408) 946-3111, extension 218, or register online at A Back to School Drive kick-off breakfast for all hosts will take place on Wednesday, May 25 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Family Giving Tree Back to School Breakfast
Wednesday, May 25
8 a.m.
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara
Great America Meeting Rooms 1-3
5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara
(408) 946-3111, ext 218

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