Gift Acceptance and Utilization Guidelines
We are blessed to live and work in a community where our neighbors are ready and willing to help when asked. Throughout the year I often hear “How can I help?” and “What do the children need, Sister?” While the answer may change based on a new program, the start of a new school year, or an emergency situation the fact is that many children and families need help and support at different times in their lives.
The purpose of this letter is to explain how we match ‘donor intent’ with the needs of Holy Family Institute. Everything we accept, whether cash, retailer gift cards, or items of value, is used to support our mission through direct support of someone in need of food, clothing or school supplies, or indirectly, such as repairing the gymnasium bathrooms or training our professional staff.
Here are some popular examples of how we work with our supporters to address the needs of the families we serve and the infrastructure of the agency.
Monetary donations provide the most flexibility in supporting Holy Family Institute and its programs. Gifts that are not accompanied by a specific request or to support a specific need, such as providing tuition or supporting mental health training, are placed into our General Operating Fund and used when and where they are needed most.
If we make a specific appeal to donors, such as funds to repair the Chapel roof or gymnasium plumbing, all donations are first used to fill that need. Any funds that remain after the need is met will be placed into the general operating fund unless the donor instructs us otherwise.
Gift cards to popular local retailers are greatly appreciated! These cards are used for age, gender, and culturally appropriate gifts and supplies for the diverse children and families we serve. Gift cards can also help us with other items we need in class rooms and in the organization.
Christmas is the most generous time of the year. Holy Family Institute begins receiving requests in August from churches and civic groups that wish to donate and shop for the children and families we serve in the community and in our educational programs.
We prepare for the holiday requests by compiling a list of typical needs for families and children. We will provide a list of needs for children by age range and gender and give this list out to multiple organizations. It is difficult to predict how much or how little we will receive during the holidays.
If you wish to give gifts at Christmas—or any time of year—please provide items that are new, unwrapped, and have no violent themes or obvious company logos. Please do not include cash or gift cards in the gifts.
In general we cannot accept the following:
- Plush items or stuffed animals, even those filled with small pellets.
- VHS tapes of any kind, or multimedia that promotes violence, including video games and DVDs
- Handmade or wooden items, knitted or crocheted items such as blankets and clothing.
- Toy guns of any kind, including water guns
- Items that could break and leave sharp edges
- Flowers, edible gifts and holiday treats
All gifts received by Holy Family Institute will be used to support agency programs for the children and families we serve.
Yours in Faith and Service,
Sister Linda Yankoski, CSFN, EdD