The holidays are a great time to remember those less fortunate. When looking to spread holiday cheer, consider giving a gift of your time or money to someone in need. Whether helping to feed a family that can’t afford a Christmas feast or donating toys to children who would otherwise go without, there are numerous ways to give back in the South Bay. Read on for a selection of the five best places for holiday gift donations.
San Jose Mercury News Holiday Wish Book
750 Ridder Park Drive
San Jose, CA 95190
This local tradition is celebrating its 30th year. Each holiday season, every day from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the Mercury News publishes the story of a select person or family in need. Wish Book recipients are selected from submissions by over 400 local service agencies. Previous gifts include meals for the elderly, counseling services for a troubled teen and medical assistance for a child with cancer. Each story is accompanied by a suggested monetary gift and donations can be made by mail or online through the Wish Book website.
Family Giving Tree
606 Valley Way
Milpitas, CA 95035
The Family Giving Tree provides desperately needed school supplies and holiday gifts to children in low-income neighborhoods. Since its inception in 1990, the Giving Tree has provided supplies or gifts to about one million local kids. Holiday gifting can range from financial donations to volunteering in the warehouse. In addition, givers can donate individual school-supply-filled backpacks and holiday gifts.
Second Harvest Food Bank
750 Curtner Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
Second Harvest Food Bank is dedicated to ending hunger for the impoverished in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Each month, it provides food to approximately a quarter of a million residents. Holiday gifting is gratefully accepted in the form of food and financial donations or volunteer hours. On the list of most-needed food items are canned meats, canned tuna, low-sugar cereal and peanut butter.
InnVision The Way Home
1900 The Alameda, Suite 400
San Jose, CA 95126
InnVision The Way Home recently merged with Shelter Network and is committed to ending homelessness. It runs a number of South Bay shelters, as well as provides emergency housing to those in need. In addition, the organization annually serves more than 400,000 nutritious meals to low-income persons. Those looking to help can give financial donations, food and clothing, or the gift of time through volunteering.
Sacred Heart Community Service
1381 S. 1st St.
San Jose, CA 95110
Sacred Heart Community Service is dedicated to helping every man, woman and child in the Silicon Valley rise above poverty. It provides assistance through a wide variety of resources such as education, housing and clothing. With a list of needs ranging from ballpoint pens to diapers and gas cards to cars, everyone can afford to donate something. Check out the website for a full list of desired items and needs.