United Way Launches Holiday Gift Drive to Support Bay Area Families and Seniors in Need

LIVE UNITED Holiday Campaign Kicks Off in Time for Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday.

San Francisco, CA, USA (November 25, 2014) — United Way of the Bay Area today announced the launch of its LIVE UNITED holiday campaign, including a gift drive for individuals, community organizations and businesses that want to support local families in need. The poverty-fighting organization has also released a toolkit to support gift drive participants, which includes a list of most-needed items, suggestions for getting others involved and instructions for dropping off the gift bags.

“At United Way, we talk a lot about what it means to LIVE UNITED-especially during the holidays. For us, it’s about doing our part to support those in need throughout our community. Volunteering is an easy and fun way to help-and spread holiday cheer,” said Sarah Burton, Director of Volunteer Engagement.

The holiday gift bag drive invites community members to LIVE UNITED by supporting low-income children, families and seniors across the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants are encouraged to get family members and friends involved in the collection of items by requesting houseguests to bring one item each to holiday gatherings. The most-needed items include warm clothing, toys, canned or boxed food, and personal care products. Grocery store gift cards are also immensely helpful to low-income parents and seniors. Donations should be delivered to United Way of the Bay Area’s San Francisco office at 550 Kearny Street, 10th Floor, or Oakland office at 1970 Broadway, Suite 400.

Participants and the general public are also invited to share their stories of how they LIVE UNITED by giving back to the community at http://uwba.org/live-united. Like Zoila, for example, who went from client to staff member at one of United Way’s SparkPoint Centers: “I want people to have the same opportunities as I had. That’s how I LIVE UNITED.”

A recent research brief issued by United Way of the Bay Area revealed that 29 percent of Bay Area households live below self-sufficiency, meaning these individuals cannot afford basic necessities like housing, food and health care. The holiday gift drive is just one of the many ways that United Way combats poverty through giving, advocacy and volunteerism.

Learn more about the holiday gift drive and additional holiday volunteer opportunities at http://uwba.org/volunteer. Read stories about Bay Area residents LIVING UNITED and share your own at http://uwba.org/live-united.

About United Way of the Bay Area
United Way of the Bay Area is a nonprofit organization, leading a movement to cut Bay Area poverty in half by 2020. We’re harnessing the collective power of nonprofits, government, corporations, labor and thousands of individuals to create change through giving, advocating, and volunteering. Every year, our programs – SparkPoint, Earn It! Keep It! Save It!, 211, MatchBridge and Community Schools – help more than 250,000 Bay Area residents. We connect people to food and shelter, put people back to work, bring tax dollars back to our community, help youth succeed in school and in the workplace, and move people toward financial stability. Founded in 1922, United Way of the Bay Area serves Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Solano Counties. For more information, visit http://uwba.org.

Media Contact:
Erica Johnson

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