- The Giving Tree
By: Kimberly Uelmen, HSSD Communications Specialist
Angela Klumb, Food Pantry Supervisor at The Giving Tree, is being recognized as an HSSD Humanity Hero for her service to the community through The Holiday Store.
Located at Green Bay Community Church, HSSD operates The Giving Tree, which is an organization that focuses on equitable access to food, shelter, transportation, and resources for HSSD families.
Each year, The Giving Tree hosts The Holiday Store, an event where families can purchase specific items they know their children want and need. Klumb leads the planning for the event and its thousands of items are donated by businesses, churches, community members, and HSSD staff.
“Based on research and community feedback, we found parents would rather pay for the clothing, toys, and gifts that would bring joy to their kids during the holidays,” said Kourtney Feldhausen, HSSD Student and Family Engagement Coordinator.
Families needing assistance during the holiday season sign up for a shopping time-slot, are partnered with a volunteer, and have the opportunity to purchase items at costs that are affordable (brand new items at rummage sale prices).
Funds collected from these purchases are used the next year for families to receive gift cards for additional food and personal care items or gas for their vehicles.
In 2021, The Holiday Store served 223 families and 506 children. In addition, 565 volunteer hours were put into this community function.
Instrumental in all of this is Klumb and her dedication to the community. During the year, Klumb keeps The Giving Tree’s shelves stocked by making orders with Feeding America and local grocery stores, maintains a clean and organized pantry, and partners with volunteers for events like The Holiday Store and the Back-to-School Store.
“Angela is the magic behind our food pantry and The Holiday Store,” said Feldhausen. “One of our goals is to make sure our families feel welcomed, respected, and safe when they walk through our doors. Angela is the voice behind the food pantry phone, she is the first face that greets our families, and she is the behind-the-scenes woman who organizes the pantry to meet the food and personal care needs of so many families.”
Preparation for The Holiday Store begins weeks prior to the event, which takes place each December. Running in tandem with food pantry pick-up days, Klumb plans for the families who shop for food in addition to planning for the volunteers that are needed for The Holiday Store.
Jennifer Longcore, foster parent in HSSD, shares her appreciation for Klumb and The Holiday Store. “The Holiday Store has positively impacted our family by bringing smiles to our children’s faces on Christmas morning,” she said. “Angela is caring with a heart of gold.”
The Holiday Store creates an atmosphere of connecting neighbors and realizing what their needs are,” said Feldhausen. “When a community realizes the hundreds of children who are in need during the holiday season, it becomes personal. The Holiday Store creates a space for all of us to feel like we are connecting with our community.”
Resources like The Giving Tree and The Holiday Store are appealing to families looking to help within the community. Longcore said, “Being a foster parent in HSSD is important because all of the schools and resources we have are amazing, from Head Start all the way through high school. The teachers, social workers, principals, and everyone in between are willing to help no matter how big or small the problem is.”
To learn more about how you can support The Giving Tree, visit the HSSD website: www.hssdschools.org/community/the-giving-tree.
- The Giving Tree