We appreciate your advocacy for our children!  COVID-19 has caused many challenges and disruptions and despite these, Volunteer Child Advocates have not missed connecting our children to the resources they need. COVID-19 will have a significant impact on our ability to provide at the holidays this year. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to make holiday magic for our neediest children and teens!

 

Here are the basics:

1. GAL provides a list that contains 3 items with a total maximum cost for all items of $100.

(Here is a PDF of the questions in case you would like to see them prior to speaking with your kiddo(s))

2. GALFTB provides donors with an Amazon wish list for items to be shipped directly to GAL. There may be one or two pickups in each County, but most of our donors have requested using Amazon wish lists.

3. GAL will drop off gifts at child’s placement.

4. Currently due to Covid-19, we are not planning a toy workshop this year.

There are many changes so please read the FAQS below in their entirety prior to filling out the form.

 

HOLIDAY NOMINATION LATE ENTRY FORM HERE*

*Filling out the late entry form does not guarantee we will be able to find a sponsor for your child who will provide the exact wishes your child has asked for but we do aim to make sure that all children receive gifts this holiday season.

 

We are asking GALs to enter their own Amazon Wish Lists into the nomination form if possible.

This is not a requirement, we have some generous volunteers that are willing to enter lists into Amazon.

If you do want to try, but aren't sure how to do it, here is a step by step guide that will walk you through it.

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the average gift amount per child to help me come up with a realistic list with my VCA child?  In 2020, we will only be able to accept a wish list that includes 3 items with a maximum cost of all three items of $100.  If you request an item of clothing, shoes or diapers, please include the child’s size.  Please make sure that the items that your child requests are within this cost parameter. If you are unsure how much an item costs, please google it to confirm it falls within the cost guidelines.  Requests outside these criteria could cause your entire wish list to be rejected.

Can I request one item for $100? Yes, you may request one item that is $100, rather than 3 items that total $100—but please recognize that this could cause your list not to be chosen. In our experience, donors want a variety of items to choose from, rather than one item and many of our donors have financial limitations this year just like our families.

What about a bike?  My GAL child really wants a bike but it might be more than $100?  We do have donors that love purchasing bikes.  If your child would like a bike, you may request it as one of your 3 items and we will try to get a donor who will provide it. If you do request a bike, please make sure your other 2 items do not total more than $50 and that you include the size of the bicycle too.

New for 2020! My child is placed with a relative caregiver who has a child of her own and struggling to make ends meet.  Can I put that child on the list as well?   No.  We recognize many children in care are placed in a family that could use help for their own children as well, but this year we are unable to meet this need. Don’t worry-there are plenty of organizations equipped to assist and we will be coordinating efforts so no child goes without.

Are there items that won't get purchased?  Yes.  Please don't include the following on your lists:  violent video games, electric riding toys, hoverboards, guns and phones-these items will not be included on wish lists sent to donors. Also, any item that costs greater than $100 will not be sent to donors. There is no exception to this rule.

Why do you ask me to create my own Amazon wish list? We are asking GALS/CAMS with the ability to enter their 3 items onto a wish list to do so and share the link with us in the Holiday Nomination Form for us to share with donors.  With more than 1200 requests fulfilled in past years and limited volunteers-we can’t possibly enter every request ourselves. Our timeline for getting information to donors is compressed and your entry is a big help! Not sure how to do this?  Here is a How To Document created that will walk you through this step by step.  Choosing this option will allow you to personally monitor whether or not your child has been chosen and which items have been purchased and sent. The donor will also be able to communicate with you through amazon if they have any questions. Your shipping address is hidden from donors and protected. Here is a easy how to document that walks you through creating your child's wish list on Amazon.

Please be specific in your request. If you don't create your own Amazon wish list, volunteers will be entering information into Amazon wish lists, so please make sure to request the exact item you want.  Do not say "SuperHero Anything"- say “Black Panther Action Figure.". Not being specific could cause your list to be rejected as we will not have the bandwidth to choose items for your child.

The only thing my child wants is a gift card, what do I do?  We do have some donors that will be willing to give a gift card, but please note that the maximum amount of all items is a maximum of $100.  Keep in mind, that because many donors do not like to provide gift cards, we cannot guarantee that a child’s wish list will be chosen.

Will all children be chosen to get gifts through the holiday gift drive? We will do everything possible to ensure that every child will get holiday gifts, but we are unable to guarantee that.  You want to make sure your child’s wish list is something that a donor would be willing to provide.  For example, a list of three items for donors to choose, will be more attractive to most donors than a list with just one item at $100.  Here is an example of a sample wish list request:  Colin is 7 and is a sweet, engaging little boy. He’s had some struggles because of the severe neglect in the first 5 years of his life but he is helpful, kind and tries really hard to be a “big boy.” Colin loves Paw Patrol & PJ Masks.  Items wanted:  Paw Patrol, Marshall’s Fire Engine $9.84; Learning Resources Pretend and Play Cash Register $33.47; PJ Masks Deluxe 14 Piece Figure Set $50.98  And here is what that wish list looks like on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1VKU8A3P063CJ?ref_=wl_share.

My child won’t get any other gifts this holiday if I am unable to get them through the gift drive. There is a question on this year’s form that asks you for the level of need.  As long as the parameters of the list are followed, we are confident that we will be able to serve all children who are the neediest. If the family/placement in which your child is placed does not need help, please do not requests gifts this year so that we can ensure our neediest children get the help they need.

How do I find out how I will get the gifts and/or if my child has been chosen?  We will send an email to all GALS/CAMS who submitted a wish list no later than the week of November 9th.  This email will include details about whether or not your gifts will be delivered to you and/or where and when you will need to pick up your gifts. If your child has not been assigned a donor at that time, we will let you know that as well. We will continue to look for holiday donors for children up until the week of December 14th and we will keep you informed along the way.  If you enter your own Amazon wish list, you will be able to monitor the status of your children’s wish lists as often as you like, as items will disappear from wish lists as they are purchased by donors.  Please get your wish list in as soon as possible and no later than October 13th.  We can not guarantee that last minute wish lists will be able to be accommodated as we have attempted to do in prior years.

What if I get assigned a child (Late Shelter) after the Wish List Nominations have closed?  Don’t worry-there are plenty of organizations equipped to assist and we will be coordinating efforts so no child goes without.

How will I get the gifts?  When you apply for a wish list, you will be asked for your address and donors can send items directly to you through Amazon without seeing your residence information—please make sure that the address you provide is safe to receive deliveries if you are not home.  If you are concerned about whether you can get deliveries safely, please consider choosing an Amazon gift locker near you, rather than having gifts sent directly to your home. Once you have the gifts, you will be able to do a contactless delivery to the child/ren you serve.  We also might have a couple of socially distant pickups depending on corporate rules of our partners. Stay tuned for more information. 

I do not want to provide my address can I provide the caregiver’s?  No, we are unable to ship directly to the caregiver’s home.  Our donors have specifically requested that gifts get shipped to the GAL at a safe location so that the GAL can make the delivery to the child/family.

Can children without a GAL be put on a list? What about a child who is no longer in the GAL Program because the child has been reunified, adopted or case is closed with Permanent Guardianship, can they be put on the list?  No. We recognize many children without a GAL and/or children that used to have a GAL might still need help at the holidays, but this year we are unable to meet this need.  There are many organizations equipped to assist and we will be coordinating efforts so no child goes without.

If I don't put in a wish list, how can I get gifts for my children?  Please put in a wish list for your child.  We are not certain we will be able to host a holiday workshop this year and our goal is to help every child in need within the GAL Program. If for whatever reason, you are unable to put in a list by the deadline, don’t worry-there are plenty of organizations equipped to assist and we will be coordinating efforts so no child goes without.

Can I buy gifts and be reimbursed? No. We are unable to reimburse for holiday gifts.

My child was selected for a donor but now has moved, what do I do?  The gifts will come to you and you will figure out how to get them to the child. 

Will you reimburse for postage if I need to mail the gifts?  No, we are unable to reimburse for postage.  

I want to help with the holiday gift drive this year, how can I do that? We will need lots of people to help with our gift drive this year, so thank you for your interest!  We commit to providing you the information and access to the things you need to be able to be successful. In particular, we will need volunteers who can help:

  1. Enter children’s wish lists into Amazon
  2. Monitor lists to ensure that children’s gifts are being purchased
  3. Spread the word about our holiday gift drive
  4. Using Canva (graphic design free online program) create social media posts to highlight children who have not been chosen
  5. If you live in Pasco County and would like to help with holiday drive for Pasco County children, please contact Fran Scerbo at fmscerbo@yahoo.com.

 

Please reach out to Tawnee at tawneew@galf6.org for more information about volunteering with this year’s holiday gift drive.