Giving Tree FAQ

Q: How can I pick out a tag this year?

A: We have many ways that you can pick out tags this year!  Please click below to expand each option.

Church Narthex

Trees will be available in the church narthex starting November 13 until December 10 (unless they are all taken sooner).

Online

This contact free option is available to anyone. Simply fill out this form to request tags and we will email you the information for the type of tags you have requested. CLICK HERE

Email or Call

Or you can reach us at kgrant@stcletusparish.com or 708.215.5418 (leave a message if not answered).

Q: How can I volunteer?

A: Please read the descriptions fully before signing up to make sure the task is a good fit, you are comfortable working inside/outside, that you are able to lift if needed, and that you meet the age requirement.

Tag Hanging & Sales

Collection Volunteers 12/10-12/12

Distribution Volunteers 12/18-12/19

Q: How does the Giving Tree program work?

A: On the trees you will find white envelopes and purple tags.

  • WHITE ENVELOPES: Each envelope lists a dollar amount. We request that you purchase cards for the exact amount listed and then put the card(s) directly in the envelope. We ask that you only purchase cards from Jewel or Walmart. Envelopes will need to be turned in by Sunday, December 12 to the collection basket, parish center, or gift drop off in Morrissey Hall December 11/12.
  • PURPLE TAGS: list gifts for individuals and families. Gifts need to be returned December 11-12, no later than 12:30pm on December 12.

Q: I purchased several gifts for the person whose tag I took from the tree. What is the best way to prevent them from getting separated?

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: Where do I bring my gifts?

A: We will have a contact free drop off available on Saturday, December 11 from 12pm-5pm and Sunday, December 12 from 7:00am-12:30pm. You can pull right up to the drop off lane on Stone Ave. (by Morrissey Hall) and a volunteer will come out to unload your car!

Q: My tag has multiple items listed on it. I always try to purchase exactly what the recipient requested, but I’m not sure I can do that this year. What would you suggest?

A: We have asked our recipients for a wish list of 3-5 items, 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 may receive, and all is greatly appreciated.

Q: I took a tag from the tree, but I’m not sure I’ll be in town on December 11-12, when they are due back. What should I do?

A: We will be accepting gifts the weekend of December 11-12. Please arrange for a friend or neighbor to drop off the gifts for you if possible. All gifts are sorted for distribution at 12:30pm on December 12. WE NEED YOUR GIFT BY THEN. Please contact the Social Concerns office at 708.215.5418 or kgrant@stcletusparish.com if you need an earlier drop off.

Q: I lost my tag, what should I do?

A: Contact Kendall Grant at 708.215.5418 or kgrant@stcletusparish.com ASAP. Please let us know of any detail you can remember from the tag, however small it may seem (any guess at the number or name, do you remember any ages or sizes, what items do you think they requested, etc.). Please still turn in the gift and we will hopefully be able to match it to the person who is missing a gift. In the future, we recommend taking a picture of your tag as soon as you take it off the tree in case it gets misplaced!

Q: Why do we give out grocery gift cards at Giving Tree?

A: Client Choice: This model gives clients the ability to choose the food that best meets their dietary needs and preferences. Previously, clients would get items they couldn’t always eat.

Transparency and Fairness: Previously, with our food basket program, we got a wide range of items back for families. This new model allows consistency in what we distribute to clients. Each family of the same size will receive the same size gift card for food.

Q: Why are gift cards limited to Jewel and Walmart?

A: We wanted to simplify the process for donors while making it best meet the needs of our clients. After reaching out to client families, Jewel and Walmart were the stores most clients shopped at. Both stores are also accessible to public transportation. In the past we occasionally got cards donated to places clients were less familiar with or were out of the area (Ultra, Farm & Fleet, Meijer, etc.). We wanted to make sure families were getting something they could reasonably get to and use.

Q: What is Shop with Scrip?

A: For your convenience during the weekends of November 13/14 & November 20/21, we will have the St. Cletus School Shop with Scrip available in the church narthex. This is a gift card purchasing program via the school that allows St. Cletus School to get a percentage of the proceeds as a fundraiser. It does not cost you anything extra to participate. We accept cash, check, and credit card. You do not need to purchase a gift card through Scrip.

Q: Can’t people purchase alcohol with gift cards?

A: Yes. We have always given out gift cards as part of our Christmas and Easter distributions, so this risk is not new. Inevitably someone may use their gift card to purchase something you may not agree with. However, this should not ruin the program for everyone. Many (most?) of donor’s households choose to have alcohol during the holidays, and at other times. We don’t always prioritize our spending in ways that others think we should. While the intention of the card is that it is used for groceries, the spirit of the program is that the client can best determine their own needs and freely choose what to purchase.


Enjoy shopping for those you have selected from the Giving Tree. Please remember them and their families in your prayers during this Blessed Season! And mark your calendars for December 11-12 and be sure to drop your gifts off.

Please remember, each tag represents a real person. When you take a tag from the tree, you are making a commitment to that person, and to returning your gift(s) on time. Thank you!

(c) 2021 | St. Cletus Parish

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