DHS Home Page
Department of Human Services    Follow DHS on Facebook Follow DHS on Twitter Watch DHS Videos on Vimeo Connect with DHS on LinkedIn

More about the DHS Holiday Project

DHS Holiday ProjectThe History of the DHS Holiday Project

The forerunner of the DHS Holiday Project began in the late 1960's when several CYS (the Allegheny County Department of Children and Youth Services) caseworkers decided to purchase holiday gifts for some of the children on their caseload. It has since expanded to become one of the most successful DHS, public-private partnerships that depends on the generosity of individuals rather than foundations.

The DHS Office of Community Relations (OCR) dedicates time year round to recruiting new sponsors, and to supporting the efforts of sustaining donors. Caseworkers from the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families identify the names of the children receiving child welfare services who would benefit from receiving a gift. OCR administers the Holiday Project by using a web-based application to “match” sponsors with children in need, and by setting up and managing a Donation Center where gifts, not specifically donated for individual children, may be selected by caseworkers for unsponsored children on their caseloads. Staff working for the DHS Office of Administrative and Information Management Services and the County Public Works are instrumental in transporting gifts between donors and recipients.

Each year, thousands of children received gifts that were donated by the employees of corporations, church groups, school groups, individuals and anonymous donors. In-kind and cash donations are estimated at nearly $215,000 annually.

Holiday Project in the media

CYF caseworkers select toys for disadvantaged children
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 15, 2010

Holiday gift drive to begin Monday
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 15, 2010

Bettis, mother read to children at SouthSide Works
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 18, 2009

Video: A Very Special Storytime with Jerome and Gladys Bettis (Click the “Archived Videos” tab on the top-right of the event page, then click the “12/17/2009” link to load the video)
Vivo, December 17, 2009

Holiday Book Drive for Children and Youth The Jerome Bettis “Bus Stops Here” Foundation and Joseph-Beth Booksellers Partner 
Allegheny County Press Release, November 23, 2009

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations are accepted year round. Please make your checks payable to:
"DHS Donation Fund" and write "Holiday Project" on the memo line.

Checks may be sent to:

Events and Donations Team
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
One Smithfield Street, First Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Gift Donations

There are many ways individuals and groups can contribute gifts to the DHS Holiday Project. Your generosity will be appreciated by many.