Giving Tree Presents 100,000th Gift Bag
Economic growth has driven a massive migration of people into China’s cities in recent years, which can be difficult for children whose lives change for reasons they can’t fully grasp. Easing that transition is the Giving Tree program, which provides gift bags full of winter clothes and school supplies to thousands of students each year.
Community Center Shanghai, a local organization in the country’s largest city, launched the program in 2003 and recently handed out its 100,000th gift bag.
As one of the earliest and leading Giving Tree corporate donors since 2007, Dow supports the fabrication cost each year of all 10,000 gift bags, which are manufactured by a local workshop that employs people with special needs. This school year, Dow people filled 120 gifts bag with items matching children’s wish lists, and 22 Dow volunteers from Shanghai, Huzhou and Ningbo distributed gift bags at Qingpu Huazhen Elementary School in Shanghai.
“Seeing their smiles and happiness makes me and all the volunteers feel so warm,” said Julie Hu, a Dow employee who participated in the distribution. “These children move to cities with their parents due to the fast-paced urbanization that China is experiencing, and Dow wants to instill hope in their hearts and include them in the community by giving and contributing.”
Giving Tree fits well with Dow’s commitment to community well-being, which focuses on enabling economic development, sustainability and education leading to socially healthy and resilient communities while also encouraging self-sufficiency. A key part of the Giving Tree objective is to demonstrate the power of generosity to students, who are encouraged to “pay it forward” to others in the future.