For Immediate Release 
December 7, 2013
 
Contact: Rebecca Asch
Children’s Fund Program Coordinator
Phone: (650) 802-6497 rasch@smchsa.org
 
Girl Scouts Package Holiday Cheer for County’s Neediest Kids
 
Belmont, CA – Forty Girl Scouts worked today to pack hundreds of gifts for San Mateo County’s neediest children. County workers have identified children, ages newborn to 18 years old, as being at risk of going without a single gift this holiday season. Their first names, ages, and 3 gift wishes are submitted to the San Mateo County’s Children’s Fund Holiday Program, which aims to fill this gap.
 
The Children’s Fund helps children in the County’s need-based programs throughout the year, assisting with orthodontia and specialized dental bills, a school supply drive, and re-programmed computers, but the Holiday Program is the most ambitious. Recipients are identified through the pool of families currently in County programs such as foster youth, and those receiving food and shelter assistance. Through toy barrel collections, monetary donations, and a Gift Tag program, the Fund hopes to deliver at least one gift to each of the 3500 children identified this year.
 
In 2-hour shifts, approximately 40 Girl Scouts selected and packaged new, unwrapped toys, clothing, board games, books, and sports gear into bags and tagged them for delivery. Additional Scouts also dropped off 60 items and fulfilled 20 Gift Tags, on Saturday. County workers will deliver to children beginning December 20.
 
Late morning, they were graced with a visit by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who commended the Scouts for their holiday spirit of giving and commented “At a time when the economy is improving, the Children’s Fund is desperately in need of toys for 3,500 children. The shelves for 9-15 year olds are almost bare and they need the community’s help to donate more toys,” said Congresswoman Speier.
 
In 2012, the Fund spread holiday cheer to 3,822 children through gift donations. This
year’s numbers are similarly high but the Fund is unsure whether or not they will be able
to fulfill their goal. The toy barrels are slower in getting filled this year but the level of
need remains high. Donations can also be dropped off directly at Holiday Central, 550
Quarry Road, Belmont, CA between 9am-5pm M-F and on Saturday, December 14
between 10am-4pm.
 
The County of San Mateo Children’s Fund has been helping the County’s
underprivileged children since 1973. Current programs include the annual holiday toy
drive, orthodontia and specialized dental assistance, a school supply drive, and reprogrammed
computers. The County of San Mateo Human Services Agency assists
individuals and families to achieve economic self-sufficiency, promote community and
family strength, and works to ensure child safety and well-being. More information can