Help Us Spread Joy This Season!
Youthprise is coordinating our Spread Joy Winter Drive again this year to help families prepare for the cold winter months and the holiday season. Spread Joy is an ongoing effort to support families during times of need, such as the holiday season, the beginning of the school year, the onset of winter or other times that place great demands on youth and families who are experiencing financial challenges. Last year, over 60 families were served through Spread Joy, and we are experiencing an even greater demand this year. Help us Spread Joy by sponsoring a family or making a monetary donation. Sponsors can sign up to purchase supplies and gifts, such as clothing (including outerwear and footwear) toys, books, gift cards, and other items. Families will complete a winter drive wish list. Once matched with a family, each sponsor will receive all of the information regarding the assigned family, including the family’s wish list, via the e-mail used at sign up.
Sponsorship link and deadlines:
- Sign up link for sponsors: https://bit.ly/winter-sponsor-sign-up
- Deadline for sponsor sign up: Friday, December 2nd, 2022
- Date for sponsors to drop-off: December 5th- 12th, 2022
How does the program work?
Individuals or groups desiring to be a sponsor will complete an online form and are matched with a family. Sponsors will then receive a brief description of the family along with their winter shopping list that includes a “wish list” from each family member. Sponsors are NOT obligated to buy everything on the list. We recommend giving one gift per family member (Visa gift cards, restaurant gift cards, etc. are acceptable).
What is the cost involved? This depends on the sponsor’s resources, as well as the needs of the family. We ask that those signing up as a sponsor commit at least $350-$500 per family; however, sponsors can spend more if they are able. Regarding food-related gifts, our preference is for sponsors to purchase gift cards for restaurants or grocery stores, in addition to gifts. Some sponsors may have more funds to give per family. In that instance, we recommend that sponsors consider using the extra funds to support an additional family.
Can I donate money instead of sponsoring a family?
Absolutely! We welcome monetary donations of any amount. Please make donations by November 28th, using the following link: https://youthprise.org/donate/ and designate your gift to “Spread Joy” from the dropdown menu.
Who are the families?
Participating families are from our MN Afterschool Advance initiative, a program that connects low-income families to high-quality afterschool programs and other enrichment opportunities through the MN K12 Education Tax Credit. In order to be eligible for this program families must have a household income of $33,500 or less in the current tax year or previous tax year. Other families selected include those who participate in programs that are hosted by our partner organizations and who are referred to us by our community partners. We support hundreds of families through initiatives and partnerships, and this is our way to help ease the burden on families during times when they should be experiencing great Joy.
How do families receive the gifts? We ask sponsors to wrap and label donations based on the family’s gift-wrapping preferences (which will be communicated to you ahead of time). We acknowledge the rich diversity of our families and want to honor the various traditions and celebrations they may choose to commemorate. If sponsors are unable to wrap gifts according to the family’s request, Youthprise volunteers will be on hand for gift wrapping. We ask sponsors to package all donations for one family together and label each gift/bundle with the family’s name & number (which will be communicated to you in advance). Sponsors may drop off gifts the week of December 5th-12th at Youthprise (you will select your preferred day and time when you sign up). For confidentiality reasons and Covid-19 protocols, sponsors and families do not meet.
Anything else I should know? If your group or organization has raised money beyond what is needed for the family’s wish list, please consider purchasing other items that the family might need. Some suggestions include socks, backpacks, raincoats, leisure books, gift certificates to Target or Walmart, or other practical items , such as shampoo, toothpaste, personal care products, etc. These are always needed and appreciated by the families.