DPIE Contributes to Hugely Successful Holiday Pop Up Shop

Michael Utsumi, Funding & Programs Coordinator
January 15, 2020

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”

Khalil Gibran – Lebanese American Poet & Visual Artist

While most holiday decorations have come down, there has been a lasting impact for many families in Dublin and Pleasanton. In the Fall, Dublin Partners in Education was invited to support the burgeoning movement called the Holiday Pop Up Shop (HPUS). Initiated in 2017, this effort was organized by Blue Oaks Church and Valley Community Church with the support of Pleasanton-based Workday. While all toy drives are worthy, the HPUS was rather unique in that the benefactors would largely be families in the Dublin and Pleasanton school districts. 

In order to be successful, the project must be highly coordinated through volunteer efforts across multiple platforms. The faith-based organizations are blessed with “people power” and Workday provide infrastructure to both receive gifts and to host a physical space for the event. In a one-month period that crossed over November and December, supporters of the project could either drop off unwrapped toys or purchase them online through a toyshop portal. This year, the toy pick-up schedule was expanded to three days in mid-December at a Workday office location adjacent to Stoneridge Mall.

However, soliciting toys is just one half of the equation. With the assistance and support of the two respective school districts, liaison personnel were able to conduct an outreach to families in our communities that could benefit from a little extra support during this season. Upon registration, families could schedule their visit to the toy shop, have the present wrapped and reflect upon the season with a cup of cocoa. The entire purpose of the drive can be articulated by Blue Oaks Church Partnerships Director, Lyssia Porter: “Can we give parents in our community the dignity to shop for their own kids rather than us picking out the gifts for them?”

Volunteers wrapping presents at the Holiday Pop Up Shop

For DPIE, this has been a welcome and eye-opening experience. With collection boxes at the DUSD district office and at Amador Elementary School in 2018, we donated close to 200 gifts.  We wanted 2019 to be even better.  In order to exponentially grow our contribution and to pitch a wider tent, DPIE reached out to one of our reliable partners – Extended Day Care Centers (EDCC).

Extended Day Care Staff helping to wrap presents

Functioning and housed at all eight elementary school sites in Dublin are Extended Day Care Centers. When HPUS was presented to their leadership and site directors, EDCC became an enthusiastic partner. In 2019, we installed collection boxes at all eight sites, Amador and Kolb Elementary schools and again at the DUSD district office.

We are pleased to report that the cumulative effort by all participating organizations yielded the collection of over 3,500 unwrapped toys that positively impacted the lives of hundreds of families in Dublin and Pleasanton. DPIE would like to thank the leadership of Blue Oaks Church and all the mission supporters, for the opportunity to contribute to this very important and heart-warming experience. We will look forward to participating again in 2020.

The joy was our reward.