Ten for Teens Giving Project Update
We’re in the home stretch folks! As of this morning, we’ve received 602 gift cards for our Ten for Teens Giving Project. This means that over SIX HUNDRED teens in Portland Metro area foster card will receive a $10 Gift Card this Christmas.
This is a comment from a local caseworker in response to your giving efforts last Christmas:
Each year, we try to provide a holiday gift for every one of our kids in substitute care. We work with a number of organizations, many of whom are very generous with toys and games for our younger children. We find the most difficulty in getting appropriate gifts for our teenagers. Most donors think of cars, truck, dolls, and teddy bears; however, our teens also like to have a gift to celebrate the holiday.
Your organization thought ahead to this unmet need, and we are so grateful! Gift cards are especially nice for these teens, because most of them have led lives that did not offer them many choices. Having the means to “pick out something I really like” is important to most teens, but particularly to these kids. It is a luxury that most of them have never had the opportunity to experience. You gave the gift of choice, along with the fun of the season. Thank you!
And how about these responses from teens who received a gift card in the past:
Wow, I have always wanted to shop at Ulta and never had the money to do it. I am so excited about going there and getting to pick what I like!” — 16-year old girl
Dude, there are so many movies coming out at Christmas time…I’m down. — 14-year old boy that received a Regal gift card
We have a crazy goal of giving all 863 teens in foster care in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties a $10 gift card.
Some of these teens live in traditional foster homes, some live in group homes, and some are in treatment facilities for those struggling with addictions and those rescued from the local sex trade. This is serious stuff, guys.
What an incredible opportunity to tell these kids “You are important, valuable, and not forgotten.”
There’s still time to make a tremendous impact in the life of a teen in foster care! As long as you get your card(s) in the mail by SATURDAY (12/17) we will make sure they get distributed to DHS caseworkers who will give them to young people on their caseload in time for Christmas.
Ready to give? Here’s what to do:
Purchase one or more $10 gift cards. The gift cards will be hand-picked for individuals by their case workers, so please just choose somewhere you think is awesome! You are welcome to get creative.
*We have A LOT of cards from Starbucks and Fred Meyer right now. We’re obviously jacked about anything you send, but if you have a choice, it would be great if we had more options for boys.
You are welcome to have the gift cards mailed directly to Dougasyu if you are purchasing them online to save time and postage. I will assume that any gift cards that come to my business’s mailbox are for this project and not an anonymous gift to me :). Please make sure you are sending an actual plastic gift card and not an emailed printable form with a barcode. A piece of paper is lame. Plastic is cool.
Write a personal message (optional).
The purpose of this message is to let your teen know that there is a real person or family behind the gift card. Let your teen know he is loved and special. Let her know your family is thinking of her this Christmas. It’s probably best to do this in a note or greeting card (a Christmas card would be perfect). Feel free to have your kids or grandkids draw a picture to go along with your card. No religious messages, such as “God loves you” or “God has a plan for your life,” or “We’re praying for you,” etc. please. It’s fine to use greetings that include “Christmas.”
Stick the gift card inside the greeting card/note and put it in an unsealed, unmarked envelope. If you seal it, we will have to open it and make your envelope look all trashy, so just don’t seal it.
This step is optional. You are welcome to send gift cards without messages.
Mail your gift card(s) and message(s) by December 17, 2016 (ish). Seriously, anytime works for us, but the earlier you send them the more flexible our team can be to make sure each kid gets the most awesome card for them.
Now put your envelope in a larger one and mail it off! We (Dougasyu) will collect the gift cards and deliver them to the folks at Embrace Oregon, who will then distribute them to the case workers at the DHS offices in the Portland Metro area. Please mail your gifts to:
PO Box 431
Troutdale, OR 97060
If you a purchasing a large number of gift cards (preferably more than 10) and would like a receipt for tax purposes, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in your package and we will provide one to the name on the envelope. The receipt will come from Portland Leadership Foundation and DHS in time for your 2014 tax preparation.
Please DO NOT hand deliver or mail your gifts directly to a DHS office. We (Dougasyu and Embrace Oregon) have a system set up to distribute these gifts in a way that doesn’t create extra work and confusion for the staff.
Get more info on the Ten for Teens giving project here.
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