United Way of Bucks County announced that it served every young person on its Holiday Gift Card Drive list this year thanks to an outpouring of support from community members.
The nonprofit’s Gift Card Drive, which serves older kids and teens in need, received a record number of requests this holiday season. At the beginning of the week – and with over 1,800 already served – there were still nearly 400 young people remaining on the list. After appealing to the community for additional support, the nonprofit was not only able to serve every young person on the list, but even received extra donations to meet last-minute requests.
“We had a flurry of last-minute requests from families in need,” said Katie Matarazzo, project manager. “Thanks to our community, we could say ‘yes’ to people struggling. Over the past few days, we had some teens who lost their homes, lost a caregiver – or even both – over the past year.”
“We never want to say ‘no’ to a child in need, but this program relies on community support,” said Marissa Christie, president and CEO at United Way of Bucks County. “It is incredible how many people rushed in to help. I’m hoping people will open their hearts next week, too. We have a challenge gift of $50,000 to unlock and we’re only halfway there. We still have a lot of folks to help before the end of the year.”
Local couple Simon and Jane Hallett are matching every gift made to the nonprofit, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, through Dec. 31. Donations can be made at uwbucks.org/donate or by mailing a check to United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030. Checks must be postmarked by Dec. 31 to qualify for the match. Gifts will be directed to basic needs in Bucks County, including healthy food, safe and secure shelter and other essentials.