Winnemucca Giving Tree 2019

It is after much reflection and discussion that we are disappointed to announce we will be unable to provide the Giving Tree this year.
AVA began the Giving Tree Program after being involved in other “gift giving” programs in the community and witnessing how often some people would take advantage of the kindness and generosity of others during the holiday season.

There were multiple issues: 
Many individuals would sign themselves, and their families, up for multiple gift giving programs, taking advantage and thus leaving many “tags” for those truly in need left hanging and with nothing while they received multiple items from multiple gift programs:
-Many signing up for gift giving programs did not show proof of need, nor in need.
-Many people donating gifts learned their donations were not being given to those in need, but kept by “organizers” for themselves,
-Many people who did sign up for gifts would immediately sell them or try to return them for cash and were not truly in need,
- Some “organizations” would automatically sign up their clients, not tell them, and keep the gifts for themselves,
These were the most common issues we saw, so when we began the Giving Tree, and throughout the years, we have always been quite proud of the fact that we have been able to verify each and every application we receive and ensure those that signed up with our Giving Tree were indeed in need, their identity confirmed, they were not signed up with any other gift giving program, and they all signed agreements.
Throughout the years and by using our verification process, we were able to weed out quite a few scammers and ensure anyone donating to the Giving Tree would be confidant their gift was going exactly where they had intended it to go. 
One truly remarkable thing we have seen with the Giving Tree in the past couple of years was its incredible growth and the local businesses wanting to take part in it, which has been an extremely wonderful experience and makes us love our local businesses even more!  This was fantastic, as each year we have had an increase in need and have been so honored and thrilled to collaborate with so many businesses to make the holidays a little more special for some!
However, last year, there came an abundance of gift giving programs available. 
The more help for others, the better- usually...Except it had become virtually impossible to verify who was doing what “tree” and where and who was signed up, and what the eligibility requirements were.

We at AVA could no longer say with certainty and assure our generous donors that those signed up with our Giving Tree were not signed up with others and would not be taking advantage of the many, many, multiple, gift-giving programs that had appeared around town in November and December.  Often, we could not even locate “who” had put what “tree” to collect gifts in what businesses, as some businesses themselves stated they weren’t sure!  This led to a lot of uncertainty, some franticness, and frustration. 
As previously stated, we began the Giving Tree to help those truly in need and help those wanting to donate be assured their gifts were going exactly as they intended.
While it is wonderful so many people are starting their own “trees” and wanting to help others, we at AVA find it too difficult with the various individuals and entities popping up to create their own now, to authenticate the applications for those to sign up with the Giving Tree.  We can no longer assure donors wanting to take part in our Giving Tree that people are not signed up with others and receiving multiple gifts, so we will not be continuing our Giving Tree in 2019.

AVA will still be doing our part in helping children and families, as always!  We are sponsoring local children in the Child Welfare System with DCFS for the holiday to make their Christmas a little more special.  So, keep an eye out for any special requests we will be putting out for gifts, if you do want to donate 😉

Our Winter Clothing Exchange needs more gently used or new items!  All sizes and genders needed!  If you have clean items ready to hang, you can take them directly to the Winter Clothing Exchange located in the lobby of the Grass Valley Plaza at 1038 Grass Valley Road (same building as Domino’s Pizza and Tutu’s Toppers). It will be open to the public Tuesdsys-Saturdays, 4:30 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Please do NOT leave dirty items or bags of item there.   *Let’s keep it nice and neat, please.* 
  If items need to be cleaned or if there are multiple items and you have no time to hang them neatly on the rack, please drop them at 26 Twyila Court or 6150 Saturn Street anytime, 24/7 (areas are secured with security cameras, it is safe to leave anything- please do not block doorways or garage entrances).

As always, throughout the year we accept donations to help those in need, not just the Holi-daze!  Financial donations are always much appreciated too, and donations can be made via Facebook or Paypal and there’s a handy Paypal button on our site at: 
All donations are tax-deductible and don’t forget tax season coming up- it’s a great time to donate!!!!  If you are giving a financial donation via Facebook or PayPal it will show up on your bank statement  has a donation under our name.

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Thank you to everyone who helps  our organization help others and making our community a better place to live.  It is heartwarming to know our community cares !  From all of us to all of you, we wish you all a very safe and very Happy Holidays!

Advocates for Victims of Abuse, a.k.a., Humboldt AVA💞