The lives of thousands of children, teens, adults with disabilities, and seniors are touched each holiday season by the County’s Gifts from the Heart Program. For more than 30 years, this annual holiday gift-giving program that runs from mid-November until early December provides gifts to community members being served by Child Protective Services and Senior and Adult Services of the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services

Local community partners and individuals from area businesses, county staff, government agencies, religious organizations, service groups, professional groups and families participate in this annual holiday gift-giving drive. Each year, more than 90 community partners donate nearly 10,000 gifts to more than 3,000 children, youth, adults with disabilities and seniors throughout Sacramento County.

“This year, because of the pandemic we are doing things a little differently. It is going to be easier than ever to donate to those in need with our online shopping registry. You can purchase gifts from Amazon, Walmart and Target, based off our gift registry and then ship directly to Gifts from the Heart and picked up by social workers.”

VOLUNTEER & STUDENT INTERN SERVICES COORDINATOR, TONJA EDELMAN

Seniors and adults with disabilities would be grateful to receive clocks with large numbers, radios, blankets, warm clothes, space heaters, sheet and comforter sets, mittens, gloves, 2020 calendars, puzzles, bathroom and kitchen towels, bathrobes, lotion, body wash, postage stamps, large print books, slippers, audiobooks, arts & craft kits, winter jackets, coffee pots, mugs, socks, knitted caps, kitchen plate sets, large print crossword puzzles, toasters or wallets. 

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Children served by Child Protective Services would be thankful to receive board games, educational toys, books, arts and crafts, funky socks, warm clothes, mp3s, electronic games, backpacks, tote bags, watches, hair products, hairdryers, flat irons, basketballs, soccer balls, footballs or fuzzy blankets.

To Participate
To take part in Gifts from the Heart 2020, visit the online stores and review the registry links. Once you select your items, please have it ship by Nov. 24, 2020.  The address for delivery is in the registry. 

You can also drop-off new unwrapped gifts/toys for any age group by Dec. 10, 2020 at one of the County lobby locations listed below.

  • 7001-A East Parkway
  • 3701 Branch Center Road
  • 3331 Power Inn Road
  • 9750 Business Park Drive, Suite 220
  • 799 G Street
  • 700 H Street
  • 7000 65th Street, Suite A

Those interested in donating may also write a check to the Department of Child, Family & Adult Services/Gifts from the Heart Program and mail to P.O. Box 269057, Sacramento, CA 95826-9443. 100 percent of donations are used to purchase gifts. All gifts and monetary donations are tax-deductible. Contact the Gifts from the Heart Coordinator for additional donation and contribution information.

Volunteers Needed
The success of the Gifts from the Heart program not only lies with kind sponsors but also with the wonderful volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours helping to organize and distribute gifts. Each year, a team of more than 50 volunteers manages the pick-up, distribution and delivery of gifts from community and private sponsors. The volunteers, many of whom return year after year, spend weeks in the warehouse organizing toys and gifts to be delivered or picked up by social workers. In 2018, program and community partner volunteers donated more than 12,370 hours at an estimated $360,000 value.  

Gifts from the Heart is looking for volunteers to work at their Santa’s Shop on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10am to 12pm. Volunteers will organize toys and other gifts in categories to set up the Santa Shop. Social distancing and mask wearing over nose and mouth for all volunteers will be required, and the space will be well-ventilated. If you cannot volunteer at the warehouse you can also participate in the Gifts from the Heart program by sponsoring gifts or becoming a community partner.

To learn more about Gifts from the Heart, becoming a community partner, making a donation or volunteering, email Volunteer and Student Intern Services Coordinator, Tonja Edelman or call at 916-875-2027. ​​

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Born and raised in Rio Linda, graduate of Rio Linda High School, and resident for most of the last 50 years. Committee Chair for the Rio Linda Elverta Visions Committee, announcer for the Rio Linda Little League Parade, Keeper of the Archway Lights, and outspoken advocate for the community.