Sugarplum grants holiday wishes to approximately 1,600 children in the Los Angeles foster care system. Handmade ornaments with a child’s age and gift wish are hung on a Christmas tree displayed in the local Manhattan Beach Mall. Shoppers choose one or more of the “wish ornaments” and purchase the gift(s) for the children. Sandpipers coordinates the collection and delivery of these gifts, which are often the only present the children will receive for the Holidays.
SUGARPLUM TREE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How are the children selected for receiving gifts?
The Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) selects the children who receive toys through the Sugarplum Tree Program. These children, who are currently in foster care, have been identified as being in the greatest need, and who, without the Sugarplum Tree Program, might not receive a gift during the holidays.
Why do some gift items seem generic?
The selections that seem “generic,” are often most fitting for a young child, who may not know – in specific terms – what they would like to receive, but would simply be delighted by receiving a toy this holiday season. Additionally, by keeping some selections more generic, DCFS caseworkers avoid the potential problem of a specific toy not being available, and therefore, the child being disappointed.
Why are gift cards requested so often?
Gift cards are often a favorite for older children, typically ages 12 and over. Gift cards provide an older child with the choice to select exactly what they want.
How will the toy or gift card get to the child?
Sandpipers Sugarplum Committee will deliver all the gifts and gift cards to the DCFS in plenty of time to get them to the children. From there, DCFS has established a system which requires both the social worker and the child’s guardian to sign off confirming the child received the gift card.
Why can’t the gifts be wrapped?
As a public agency, DCFS has the responsibility to ensure that the gifts that are given to the children are appropriate and safe. Once this is established, many social workers will wrap gifts on their own before delivering them to the children.