A mission to donate gifts to families during Christmas led by the 4-H Middlesex County Teen Council
Project Gift is an event held every year by the Middlesex 4-H Teen Council. The project started back in 1997, where the Teen Council provided holiday gifts to needy families. These gifts were not anonymous, making the project unique.
Throughout the year, the Teen Council holds fundraisers in order to amass enough money for Project Gift. We then buy presents for children of all ages, wrap them, and set up rows of tables filled with these gifts.
Both the Junior and Teen Council are part of the 4-H program, helping youth learn and engage in community service throughout their childhood.
We currently reach approximately 350 youth from 135 different families, representing 13 different agencies. We also work with welfare-to-work agencies, battered womens shelters and programs, family shelters, ESL programs, housing
authorities, and more.
Over 80-85 teens from the Junior and Teen Council and 10 adult volunteers help with Project Gift each year.
Project GIFT has been my favorite intellectual and most influential thing I have ever done. This is a project that is done around Christmas time, where we set up our 4-H log cabin as a giant store, with many toys that we buy, and get donated to us on the tables. We invite many homeless shelters and battered women shelters and depending on how many kids they have, they get a certain number of tickets that they can trade in for toys. We then wrap the toys for the parents. This has impacted me the most to see those parents who don't have enough to provide to their family. It makes me appreciate what I have more and it really showed me what an impact on small thing could have on someones life. It really hit me when this mother gave me a hug after I handed her her bag of wrapped gifts. She was on the verge of tears and it brought chills to my body. It made me feel really good and appreciated. It is amazing how this one day out of 365 can impact someone so much.
Project Gift allows me to be apart of something much larger than myself. The effort that goes into running the event is so worth it when I get to see how excited the families are. The children leave with smiles, knowing the get to celebrate with presents this year. Project Gift always reminds me that the holiday spirit is real.
In order to have enough money to host something of the size of Project Gift, the Junior and Teen Council work hard throughout the year. One of our biggest fundraising events is hosting a Haunted House in October. This project takes
weeks to set up, and we spend hours working on building all the walls of the haunted house.
Due to Covid-19, we're no longer able to fundraise using the Haunted House. It is impossible to work on such a large project without coming in close contact of one another. Therefore, Project Gift is in dire need of funding.
If you're unable to donate, please at least spread the word. Share this website with your friends and family. Together, we can come together and raise enough money to continue this project.
From the Haunted House event, we tend to raise upwards of $8,000 annually. All of this money is put into hosting this event. It is very expensive, but also very rewarding.