By Emily Sorensen
With the holidays approaching, Valley Elementary’s Adopt-a-Family is seeking donations of gift cards for families in need.
There are 98 families identified as being in need for donations at Valley Elementary. According to Stefanie Goldstein of Valley Elementary PTA, they expect up to 120 families to be identified by the school district as being in need this holiday season, 15 to 20 percent of Valley Elementary’s students.
Last year, the PTA took in donations of clothing, toys and gift cards for the roughly 90 families who received donations. It ended up being more of an ordeal than expected. “It was amazing, but a tough surprise,” said Goldstein.
The outpouring of donations, and sheer amount of families in need, required the PTA to rent a storage space and needed many volunteers to sort and prepare the donations to go to the families. “We wrestled with changing the program this year from accepting gifts to accepting gift cards. The logistics of organizing so many gifts for so many families made it difficult to repeat,” said Goldstein.
“This year, we’re doing gift cards because we didn’t understand what an undertaking it would be [to get physical donations],” said Goldstein. Instead, the PTA will collect gift cards and monetary donations, which will be divided up and given to the identified families in need at Valley Elementary.
The PTA suggested gift cards be from places like Wal-Mart and Stater Brothers, both of which are close to the community where the families live. They will also take checks, made out to Valley PTA, if you do not want to pick out a gift card. “We’re grateful for anyone who can donate,” said Goldstein. “We know it’s been a tough year financially for a lot of people.”
It was suggested to Goldstein by another Valley parent that the switch-over to gift cards could be a good change. “This could be a good change as it will give the families the joy of being able to pick out things for their children,” said Goldstein.
A secure drop-off area for donations has not been finalized, so those wishing to donate can call Goldstein at 480-206-6429 for more information.