Giving Tree - FAQ

Don’t see your question below? Email givingtree@communitycenter.cn

 

 

 


What does the Giving Tree team do the rest of the year?

After one year’s distributions are over, Giving Tree staff get started on the following year’s program. From January-March, new migrant schools are identified, interviewed, and then assessed in person (including home visits). The results of the visits are used to determine which schools will receive Giving Tree bags and are collated into a Migrant School Needs Report. Starting in May, donors are recruited to fill bags. Before the Stapling Party in September/October, bags have been ordered, data on every child has been collected from the migrant schools, and donor coordinators have been organizing how their organizations will fill bags. By the time distribution ceremonies roll around in November/December, Giving Tree staff and volunteers have been liaising with migrant schools, supporting donors, and coordinating distributions for nearly a year!

 

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Do the bags need to contain every specified item?

Yes! Each bag is opened by the children in front of their classmates and it is important that each child receive consistent items to avoid feeling that they are missing something or have been left out entirely.

 

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What if I would like to sponsor a bag but cannot afford to buy every item?

It is best that you partner with one or two friends to fill a bag together.

 

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Do you have any recommended places to purchase the required items?

For bulk/group buying, we suggest Home Sweet Home, a non-profit that provides homeless people with special needs a place to live, skills training, and a job. They can provide clothing, school supplies, and book bags. They have been working with Giving Tree for years --our red and white bags are produced in their workshop over the summer!

+ 86 21 5857 5879
 
 
For individual purchasing, we recommend Tao-how. Tao-how, an English personal online shopping service that allows you to pay with PayPal or via bank transfer, is waiving their service fees for all items purchased for individual Giving Tree bags. Tao-how staff are expert shoppers that make it easy for expats to buy from Chinese e-commerce websites. They have sourced everything for Giving Tree bags and can even help you purchase books at the appropriate reading level and clothing sized correctly according to height. Email them at sales@tao-how.com or visit www.tao-how.com to get their personal shopping help, at no cost.
 
 

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If I am part of an organization can I collect money and ‘Group Buy’?

Yes, you can ‘group buy’ (purchasing items in bulk) but all bags are not allowed to be identical (i.e., same color jackets or the same toy). All bags need to be individualized and personally filled to ensure that a good connection between the donor and recipient is established and that each child is made to feel that they are special and unique. The toy specified by the child should be the toy purchased and placed in the bag.

 

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Can I give Giving Tree money and have Giving Tree make the bags for me?

No, currently this is not an option. We believe that it is important for our donors to make individual connections with their recipients as we think that this is the best for our donors and children.

 

We can however provide resources on how you can group buy if required. Or you can make a donation to assist with the administration of Giving Tree or emergency supplies.

 

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Can I get a bag to fill directly from the Community Center and Giving Tree?

We occasionally have individual bags available, although we prefer most donors work through a donor organization. Contact us at givingtree@communitycenter.cn and we can see what we can do!

 

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Can I put other additional items into the bag?

Yes, but only small items such as toiletries, hair accessories, stickers, additional school supplies, etc. Do not add food or candy items for safety reasons.

 

We do not want other children to feel left out. The main priorities should be on the specified items. If you have extra funds to spend, we suggest investing in higher quality winter clothing or fill multiple bags rather than purchasing additional items. 

 

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Can I put food items into the bag?

For safety reasons, we do not allow food items in Giving Tree bags.

 

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Should I wrap the gifts in wrapping paper before I place them in the bag?

No, we need to make sure that every gift bag is suitable for its intended recipient. Therefore Giving Tree volunteers need to check the contents of every bag before it is distributed. Any bags donated with wrapped gifts will have to be unwrapped.

 

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When do the bags need to be completed?

Your donor coordinator will tell you when the bags need to be completed. Each donor has a different deadline based on the ceremony date (approximately 2+ weeks in advance to allow for bags to be checked).

 

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Can I deliver the Giving Tree bag directly to the children that I sponsored?

The Giving Tree hosts ceremonies which donors can participate in. During this ceremony, donors can help distribute gift bags to the children. If you take note of the name, grade level and classroom that your child is in prior to the event, you may be able to locate them. However, due to the size and nature of these events, it may not be logistically possible to hand your bag directly to your specified child. 

 

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