For the eighth year, community members will have the chance to give back while ordering their morning coffee thanks to a holiday gift drive for foster youth hosted by Aspiranet and Starbucks.
Until Dec. 18, gift wishes of at-risk and foster youth will be on display on Christmas trees throughout 106 Starbucks stores in the Central Valley, including Turlock locations. Customers who want to help may select a gift wish of a needful child or teen and return the unwrapped gift to the store location with the original gift tag attached.
Since the gift drive launched eight years ago, over 32,000 gifts have been donated. Last year, customers donated more than 6,000 gifts, and Aspiranet hopes that after this year’s gift drive, the non-profit will reach a new milestone of 40,000 gift donations for foster and at-risk youth.
The annual gift drive allows Aspiranet social workers to deliver age-appropriate gifts for thousands of foster youth and teens, from infants to older youths transitioning out of foster care. According to Aspiranet Chief Executive Officer Vernon Brown, the organization sees the greatest need among older youths between the ages of 10 and 17.
“We are very grateful to Starbucks for its continuous support making sure the youth we serve are thought of and cared for throughout the holiday season,” said Brown. “We encourage those who wish to donate to open their hearts to foster and at-risk youth of all ages this season.”
Aspiranet is a non-profit charity that supports foster children, siblings, families and the community with core programs that offer specialized services including Foster Care, Adoption, Transition Age Youth and Behavioral Health. Aspiranet staff work with at-risk and foster youth year-round, but work closely with the children during the holidays to collect their gift wishes, and also collect gifts for youth who may come into care close to the holidays to ensure that each youth receives a gift. The organization serves more than 10,000 families each year, and through the gift drive builds a bridge between the generosity of the community and the holidays wishes of foster children.
Customers who choose to donate may download a tax deductible receipt by visiting www.aspiranetfamilies.org/starbucks-holiday-campaign/giftdrive, and specific questions about items requested on the gift tags can be answered by calling 844-791-9281. Community members may also visit the gift drive’s website to donate and help support the needs of children and youth.