Each year, Tree of Sharing distributes upwards of 8,000 gifts during the holiday season. Like any organized effort, it requires a lot more work than many people realize. Here is a concise description of what happens behind the scenes to create so many joyous acts of giving.
- A beneficiary communicates a specific gift request to a staff person of a particular participating agency. Each agency has a specific number of gift request opportunities depending upon the size and needs of the agency.
- This request is then communicated to Tree of Sharing staff. They print a bar-coded tag listing the age, gender, and specific gift request. This bar code serves as a tracking mechanism ensuring that the gift ends up in the appropriate hands. Anonymity is preserved through our discrete coding system. Only the agency that generated the request has any contact information, thus providing the highest level of anonymous charitable giving.
- At a designated time, the tags are distributed to the three area mall locations or to sponsoring corporations and small businesses.
- Those wishing to contribute gifts pick up the tags, go to local area businesses and purchase the items shown, and then return both the gift and the tag to the designated malls and business locations.
- The Washington Air National Guard then collects the gifts on a regular basis and delivers them to a donated central warehouse for sorting, counting, and tracking.
- Sometime in mid-December the agencies send representatives to collect the gifts for their recipients. At this time, any unfilled gift requests made by an agency are noted. To the best of our ability missing gifts are purchased and provided to the agency. In this way, no one is forgotten!
- Each agency then distributes the gifts in a manner appropriate for their recipients.