Family Giving Tree - Christmas Gift Distribution
For Paradise Fire-Affected Families

Oroville The Father's House: Sunday December 15, 2018
Chico High School: Sunday December 23, 2018

Homepage Here   |   Watch the ABC10 Video  |  Contact: Dean McCully dean@dmccully.com

The 2018 fires of Paradise California were the most destructive and deadliest in California History.  As of mid December, 2018 88 people are known dead, 196 are still missing.  14,000+ structures were destroyed.   An estimated 50,000 people were displaced, including over 4600 children.

To bring a little holiday cheer to the displaced famileis of Paradise, 5000 gifts were provided for Paradise Fire-Affected Young People by Family Giving Tree of Milpitas, California.    500 were delivered to Paradise kids thru The Father's House in Oroville on December 16, 2018,  the remaining 4500 gifts were delivered to Paradise kids thru the Chico High School on December 23, 2018. 

Literally hundreds of volunteers participated.  Scouts and veterans service organizations spread the word, and ultimately participated in the sorting and packing process in San Jose, as well as the distribution process in Chico.

Press Release and more info: Press Release

Check out the story....

FRIDAY DECEMBER 21, 2018

Sorting, Wrapping, Loading day at Family Giving Tree's San Jose Warehouse

Are we going to make it? Will gifts be available?
Will enough volunteers show up to sort and wrap and load?
A million questions went through our minds as we got to the
Family Giving Tree warehouse on Friday.  
But we just dug in and started dealing with gifts....  
If we make it, we make it.  If we don't... well, we WILL make it!


Toys being sorted into bags at the Family Giving Tree warehouse in San Jose, California.
This is unbelievable...  4500 gifts sorted, labeled, wrapped, and bagged.  Unbelievable...


The warehouse was PACKED with volunteers scrambling to get the
last gifts sorted, wrapped, and ready for shipping.




Volunteers diligently loaded gifts onto the semi.


Yeah, the huge semi-truck was at the end of the train of big boxes.


While loading took place, volunteers continued to scramble to wrap gifts. 
Yes WRAP gifts! 
And to expedite the wrapping process, volunteers made due with upside down
cardboard shipping bozes instread of tables.  Clever little elves, huh?




  Jennifer Cullenbine of the Family Giving Tree supervised the load-in


 
The truck fills up -- in fact there is only about 3 or 4 feet left in the truck....


And off Joe goes!  Next stop ... Chico High School on Saturday December 22, 2018....



SATURDAY DECEMBER 22, 2018

Transport to Chico High School, and Unloading

... driving driving driving...  Joe drives for hours to get from San Jose to Chico....

Woo Hoo, Joe Childs' Silicon Valley Moving Company truck arrives at the Chico High School in Chico, California


Paradise Councilman Mike Zuccolillo <mzuccolillo@townofparadise.com>
supervised the unload.  It was a hurclean effort!




Most gifts were sorted, and loaded into bags or boxes. 



The mountain of Family Giving Tree gifts grew and grew as mobs of volunteers cleared out Joe's truck.



Once the bags of gifts were unloaded, the sorting process began. 
Gifts were mostly wrapped, and were labeled by gender and age.




The awesome sorting volunteers, tuckered out from hours and hours
of unloading, sorting, and laying out mountains of 4500 gifts.




The Chico high school gym looks like the world's biggest toy store, huh?



A gigantic nod to the amazing Saturday unloading & sorting crew.  Most volunteers are from Paradise. 
Almost all lost all of their worldly posessions in the fire.  Yet here they are, bending over backwards
to make sure their Paradise neighbors had a brighter Christmas.




...  but now will the crowds of Paradise families show up in the morning? 
No time to worry about that, it's back to the North Pole for a little egg nog and sleep... 
See you in the morning...


SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 2018

DISTRIBUTION DAY at Chico High School's Gym

.... fast forward one more day to distribution day on Sunday December 23, 2018 at the Chico High School gymnasium ....
 
In spite of a drizzly day, the lines were out the door and around the school. 
All recipients were checked for ID to verify Paradise residency.



How does one decide which gift to pick?



The organizational skills of the crew from Paradise was unrivaled.


Volunteers "Shoppers" helped escort Paradise fire-affected families through Family Giving Tree's gifts.



WOO HOO, Santa Claus got into the act!
I wonder if Santa heard about the event thru the press releases? 



High Five for Santa!



Mountains of toys, behind a Joly Old Elf!  Wow kids could get LOST in this mountain of toys, huh? 



Santa works the crowds waiting for gifts...



Definitely great elves!


Santa with a few key helpers...


Channel ABC10 Sacramento joined us and interviewed Lisa.
Watch the ABC10 Video



The gifts are thinning as the very well organized and extremely polite crowd continued to stream in.


We're getting to the bottom of the Gift Mountain...


  Amazing!  The benches were almost empty at the end of the day!



Annnnnnnnnnnnndddddddd.... that's a wrap.  So to speak. 
Wow after a back-breaking weekend, the Paradise crew still
makes  time for one final thank you to Family Giving Tree.



4600 young people were displaced by the Paradise "Camp Fire". 
We hope that the lion's share of those young people received a gift or two this year,
and will have a brighter holiday season because of it!

  • THANK YOU to Jennifer Cullenbine of the Family Giving Tree fame for providing a mind boggling 5000 gifts for Paradise families!
  • THANK YOU to Paradise Councilman Mike Zuccolillo for supervising the inimitable Chico crew, and for spreading the word to so many Paradise families!
  • THANK YOU to Joe Childs of Silicon Valley Trucking for hauling a truck-load of gifts to Paradise (and eating the cost of fuel and truck maintenance.)
  • THANK YOU to Cole Cameron for unrivaled advise and moral support...
  • THANK YOU to Lisa Bickford who, while dealing with headaches related to her mom's house loss in the Paradise fire, pitched in to the community gift project with, as always, unlimited grace and aplomb..
  • THANK YOU to Santa Claus
  • Big THANK YOU to Nathan McCully (who someone reported was trying on Santa's outfit in the men's room...... No further comment, except Thanks Nathan!   :-)
  • THANK YOU to everybody else who helped brighten up the lives of Paradise fire-affected families!