The Archdiocesan Housing Authority is looking for a new agency sponsor for its program, The Giving Tree.
The Giving Tree is a social enterprise where volunteers work together to make wooden toys. The toys are sold at the Giving Tree’s retail shop or are given away to children’s service organizations. The Giving Tree provides a warm and welcoming workspace for seniors, homeless and formerly homeless individuals, youth and adults who wish to build employment skills or meet social service requirements. The Giving Tree also helps bridge gaps for individuals, bringing order into disorganized lives through common goals and the common language of toy making.
The Giving Tree wood shop was opened in 1989 to help restore meaning and dignity into the lives of the residents of The Westlake, a service-enriched housing facility for formerly homeless men age 55 and over. Since then we have opened our doors to the greater community.
Currently, workers include residents of The Westlake, individuals fulfilling voluntary community service and food stamp requirements, and those who wish to foster their own talents or learn new skills. The Giving Tree volunteers collaborate with Mainstay and Work Opportunity, employment training programs for adults with disabilities, as well as with DESC Employment Services Program where adults are learning valuable employment and life skills.
The Giving Tree’s products provide a source of earned income. Expenses include funds necessary to pay for the one part-time staff member, insurance, rent, phone & the minimal materials needed for the shop (most supplies are donated). The program has historically been able to obtain grants and individual donations.
AHA is looking to give the program to another agency or organization that could keep the long term, skilled volunteers in the shop, and stay proximate to its mission of producing wooden toys and handcrafts for sale.
It’s a beautiful program with a lot of heart. It is not within AHA’s core mission to continue sponsoring a social enterprise. We very much hope to find another sponsor, rather than shut it down. For more information about the program, please contact Clare Cronkleton at the Giving Tree, at 340-1575, or Flo Beaumon with the Archdiocesan Housing Authority (at the Aloha Inn), at 283-6070, ext. 309.
The program’s webpage can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/thegivingtree