by: Stacy Conroy '00 and Bonnie Lurie, Gift Drive Co-Chairs
For more than 20 years, the SCA Holiday Gift Drive has been Shorecrest’s signature service event with participation from families at every grade level. Through the Gift Drive, the Shorecrest community provides holiday gifts to 250 underserved children through the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, which provides advocacy and support for abused, abandoned or neglected children in the Guardian ad Litem Program of Pinellas and Pasco Counties.
The Gift Drive begins on November 30, when children can begin bringing unwrapped gifts into their classroom, and culminates on December 11, when our students will bring the hundreds of presents they have collected to the Athletic Center, where our parent and community volunteers will organize the gifts that will make so many children’s holidays just a little brighter.
This year, we have adapted the Gift Drive in several ways due to COVID-19:
Due to economic uncertainty, Guardian ad Litem requested that each child request less items this year – you will notice there are significantly fewer large items than in past years.
In order to limit close contact, all gifts should be sent to school unwrapped, and we will not have MS or US wrapping days or wrapping on the day of the Gifts Drive.
We will allow significantly less volunteers than in the past, and all volunteers must be masked, maintain social distance, and will not interact directly with students.
Lastly, the Gift Drive will actually take place over two days, with the Guardian ad Litem volunteer child advocates coming to campus on Saturday, December 12, for a contactless drive-through pick up of the gifts.
What You Can Do:
Purchase gifts – Look out for an email from your class representative or a grade level representative in the next week. The email will provide a link to sign up for gifts to purchase, as well as details on how to label and send in your gifts. Send in your gifts with your child between November 30 and December 11. All gifts should be unwrapped with a label attached with the child’s name and Family ID# (and a description of the contents if not obvious from the packaging).
Donate cash – We realize how busy many of you are and it is hard to find time to shop. Cash donations are essential to the success of the Gift Drive – we use this money to make sure that all gifts are purchased so that no child is left without the gifts that they want and need. You may donate online through our secure system here.
Volunteer – We need volunteers during the week of the Gift Drive to do last-minute shopping. We will also have several shifts for volunteers throughout both days of the Gift Drive, for sorting and organizing (Friday, December 11) and running the drive through pick up (Saturday, December 12). All volunteers must be masked and maintain social distance from others. Volunteers will not directly interact with students. Be on the look out for a link to a volunteer sign up next week.
To make life a little easier for all of our elves, we offer:
Thank you in advance for helping make this year’s holidays extra special for the 250 children that the Holiday Gift Drive will serve! We know this event will once again showcase the giving spirit of the Shorecrest community.