Questions about the Giving Tree Food Baskets
Q: I have a frozen turkey (or ham) which Id like to donate for use in the food baskets we distribute. Is this something you could use?
A: Since we do not have freezer or refrigerator space to store them, we can accept such donations only on the morning of December 18, the day of food basket distribution.
Q: I am a senior citizen and would like to put together a food basket. However, it is difficult for me to carry all the items necessary to fill the basket. What do you suggest I do?
A: There are two options for you. (1) You could purchase gift certificates from Jewel or Wal-Mart for the family to shop for their own food, and include them with a small food or fruit gift basket. Or (2) Shop with a friend or family member for the necessary food items and let them help you load it into your car on Sunday, December 18. There will be plenty of teens and other volunteers available on that day to carry your basket from your car into the gym.
Q: Im never sure how much to spend on my food basket and or food gift certificates. What do you suggest?
A: We suggest you focus on the size of the family you have selected. Spend what you yourself would spend on a special holiday meal for your family of 2, 4, or 6. It is also a nice idea to include extra non-perishables which the family can use throughout the season, since these food baskets replace our regular December Food Pantry distribution. Suggested items are found on the red tag you picked from the tree.
Q: I have purchased all my food basket items. Now, how should I put them together for the recipient?
A: We have found that using a large laundry basket or a plastic storage bin works extremely well, and is a nice useful additional gift. A sturdy corrugated box will also work well. Any of these suggestions make for an easy and safe handling of the basket.
Questions about the Giving Tree – Gift Tags
Q: I purchased several gifts for the person whose tag I took from the Tree. I have bundled the packages together, but am afraid they may get separated. What is the best way to prevent this from happening?
A: To prevent gifts for the same person getting separated, please mark each gift with the person’s name and family number. That will ensure that everything goes where it should!
Q: I selected a tag for an adult male, Size XL, who wants a shirt. Can I just purchase a gift certificate and let him buy his own shirt?
A: If at all possible, it is preferable to purchase an item(s) listed on the tag, especially if it is for a child or senior citizen. Of course, a gift card or certificate would also be appreciated. Perhaps you would like to purchase a small item and include the gift card, so the recipient has a gift to open on Christmas. Including a gift certificate with any purchase is very helpful.
Q: My tag has multiple items listed on it. I always try to purchase exactly what the recipient has requested, but I’m not sure I can do that this year. What would you suggest?
A: We have asked our recipients for a gift wish list, allowing you some options from which to choose. It is certainly not necessary to buy every item listed. Be mindful that often what you purchase is the only Christmas gifts they receive, and all is greatly appreciated.
Q: Are there any stores you suggest we shop at, in case items need to be exchanged?
A: We generally find that it is safest to shop at Target, Kohls, Wal-Mart, J. C. Penney, Sears or other well-known local stores. Include a gift receipt when possible.
Q: I took a tag from the tree, but I’m not sure I’ll be in town on December 10-11, the weekend they are due back. What should I do?
A: We will be accepting gifts before and after every Mass on the weekend of December 10-11. Please arrange for a friend or neighbor to drop off the gifts for you if possible. All gifts are sorted for distribution after the 12:30 PM Mass on December 11. Please contact the Social Concerns Office at (708) 215-5418 or email if you have further questions.