The Family Giving Tree began in 1990 as a San Jose State University MBA class project. Jennifer Cullenbine was asked to "create a program that adds value to someone else's life." Family Giving Tree was created with the hope of providing holiday gifts to 300 children in East Palo Alto, CA. Encouraged by the success of the first year, Jennifer decided to continue and expand the organization. In the 20th year of the program's existence, the total number of gifts and backpacks donated had grown to over 700,000, making the Family Giving Tree the largest gift and backpack donation program in California.
FGT fulfills the exact holiday wish and provides backpacks filled with school supplies to those children in the most need in our communities while inspiring the values of kindness, philanthropy and volunteerism.
Nearly one million children have received backpacks filled with supplies or holiday wishes through our programs since 1990. Jesus, a 5th grader at Washington Elementary School, beamed with pride as he recounted the story of getting his backpack and the supplies inside. He talked about the pockets and zippers, how the binders help him be organized and how his new calculator helps him with math homework, and this year he plans on joining his mom to volunteer and help give back to those in need just as he was. Your contribution to the Family Giving Tree will positively impact students, like Jesus.
The Family Giving Tree Elves work closely with local corporations, small business, retail outlets and neighborhood clubs to fulfill the wishes of these children and families in need. We provide opportunities for individuals and families of all ages to volunteer their time and give back to their community.