A South Bay nonprofit group held a celebration in Cupertino Monday afternoon to mark the milestone of fulfilling the holiday wish of its one millionth child.
The Family Giving Tree's celebration included a ribbon-cutting at its temporary warehouse at the Hewlett-Packard campus where Apple will build Campus 2, and where between 800 and 1,000 volunteers per day will wrap presents for an estimated 70,000 children this year.
The group was founded in 1990 by Jennifer Cullenbine and Todd Yoshiida as a project for their master's in business administration program at San Jose State University. It aims to connect donors with children from
low-income families who otherwise might not receive any holiday gifts.
Cullenbine, now executive director of the foundation, said the number of children served has grown over 23 years from 300 in East Palo Alto that first year to the expected 70,000 in the South Bay and elsewhere in the
Bay Area this year.
She said she estimates the group will achieve its one millionth gift on Monday or Tuesday.
"I'm in awe of all the wonderful generosity of all the people who have every year given of their resources year after year to help these children," Cullenbine said.
"They can give $20 and bring a smile to a child's face," said Cullenbine.
Reaching the million mark "feels like a dream. We are so excited," she said.
Chief Operating Officer David Bratton-Kearns said the group gets names of children from about 300 social services agencies in the Bay Area. A "wish card" for each child shows the child's age and a toy, clothing item or
other gift the child wants.
The foundation then works with corporations, small businesses, community groups and boy and girl scout troops to distribute the cards and find donors.
A different corporation provides the temporary warehouse each year, Bratton-Kearns said. This year's site was provided by Apple Inc. at the former Hewlett-Packard Co. campus at Wolfe and Pruneridge Roads.
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