Gingerbread Kids gift drive provides holiday cheer to nearly 1,700 Valley children

During the holidays, gifts can express our appreciation and care for those closest to us. For kids, unwrapping a new toy or outfit can light up their faces and homes with smiles. Southwest Human Development’s annual Gingerbread Kids Holiday Gift Drive delivered holiday gifts and spread holiday cheer with Arizona children.

Thanks to our individual and corporate supporters, Southwest Human Development was able to provide holiday gifts for 1,685 children this year!

“Every child deserves to unwrap a gift during this special time of the year,” says Jake Adams, chief development officer at Southwest Human Development. “With the support of local businesses, community organizations and individual donors, we’re proud to be able to bring holiday joy to children throughout Arizona.”

The Gingerbread Kids Holiday Gift Drive is a unique opportunity for Southwest Human Development supporters to give back to the community during the holiday season. Community organizations and companies came together to sponsor gifts for children, local businesses volunteered to fill out holiday gift cards and individuals took time to find and purchase the perfect gift for a child, all pitching in to make the holidays memorable for children.

“Organizations and individuals ‘adopt’ children and purchase gifts specific to each child’s interests, so every child will receive something personal and special,” explains Annette Sutfin, senior manager of philanthropic experiences at Southwest Human Development. “Program specialists then pass along the gift and wrapping supplies to caregivers during home visits, so that each caregiver gets to experience the actual wrapping and giving of the gifts to their children.”

Gifts donated through the Gingerbread Kids Holiday Gift Drive go to children in many of our programs, including our Foster Care and Adoption, and our Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Some of the children in these programs have experienced abuse and/or neglect, while others simply haven’t had the opportunity to experience the magic and fun of the holiday season in this way. For children celebrating the holidays with a family for the first time, these gifts provide an important connection and a sense of belonging.

“This year, our partners truly rallied around the families we serve,” added Sutfin. “From, U-Haul and Desert Financial Credit Union, to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Sonora Quest Laboratories and so many others, we simply couldn’t have provided the amount of support we did without their dedication and commitment to young children and their families.”

If your company or community organization would like to be involved in a future drive, please contact Annette Sutfin at asutfin@swhd.org for more information.