DHS News November 2013
The Holiday Project –
Thankful For Those Who Give
The Department of Human Services’ Holiday Project every year
fulfills the holiday wishes of thousands of children who receive child welfare
services in Allegheny County. But in a sense, the project’s work comes down to
a factor of one.
Even when we say a corporation sponsors hundreds of
children, it’s really the individual employees of the company who step up to
help make the Holiday Project succeed, said Brendan Hanschen, Events
Coordinator in the Office of Community Relations. Thoughtful individuals in a
number of local corporations and organizations spearhead these collective
And there are the donations made by people who, of their own
volition, see a need and reach out anonymously to help. Hundreds of people choose to donate a gift or
two to assist DHS to meet needs of children who are not formally sponsored. “They
do add up,” said Brendan. “Especially with our donation boxes. We don’t even
know who those donors are.”
The donation boxes are set up at Curves, 2940 South Park Road, Bethel
Park; Turner Jewelers, 5648 William Flynn Highway, Richland; and at two
locations Downtown, the Human Services Building, One Smith St., and at Family
Court, 440 Ross St.
employees are also contributing, taking gift tags that list individual requests
from the Holiday Project Wish Tree at the Human Services Building, One
Smithfield St., or contributing through the County Executive’s office. Gifts
can be made during the county holiday party from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4, at the Grand Staircase in the County
Courthouse, 436 Grant St.
have undertaken some extraordinary efforts through the years. “Last year there
was a woman who went out with her sister and bought two carloads of toys,”
Brendan said. Another family who adopted a girl from foster care has, for 11
years, collected items to fill 500 stockings. The family will be doing the same
other individuals shop the Project’s Amazon Wish List. Students, such as those
at Shady Side Academy, will sponsor children. Shady Side will make dreams come
true for 100 children this year. A number of local churches also sponsor
children each year, Brendan said.
year, 2,100 out of about 3,400 children who will benefit from the Holiday
Project will be sponsored through corporate collections or by individuals.
Individual sponsorship is easy and affordable for many. “We have a requested
minimum of $25 but most of the sponsors choose to go above that,” Brendan said.
“We are lucky to have such generous sponsors.”
and monetary donations are being taken through Dec. 6. Contact the Events and
Donations Team at 412-350-3428 or by email at EventandDonationsTeam@AlleghenyCounty.us.
Checks can be made out to the Events and
Donations Team and sent to the Office of Community Relations/Events and
Donations Team, One Smithfield St., Pittsburgh PA 15222.
Gifts must be new and
unwrapped. A list of “hottest toys and
gifts” and suggestions for donations, along with other Holiday Project
information, can be found on the Holiday Project page of the DHS website
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