Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to help, but I can’t afford to sponsor a child or donate funds.

We use volunteers to help us shop for children not sponsored. We can use a few more volunteers to help with wrapping presents and sorting canned goods on Saturday, December 7th.  Contact Judy or Nancy to let us know what you’d like to help with.

If you know an elderly or isolated person in the Trumansburg area who would like to receive a Fruit Basket with holiday greetings, please call Holly Weatherby at (607) 387-5266 to refer them or email their Name, Address, and Phone to

How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

There is no minimum dollar amount.  We do ask that you commit to buying at least one outfit of new clothing (such as jeans, turtle neck or t-shirt and a warm sweater, fleece, or hoody), a hat and gloves or mittens, and 1-3 presents for each child sponsored.  Depending on the ages and sizes of each child, where you shop, and how generous you are, the amounts can vary greatly. The following guidelines may be helpful:

  • Children under 5:  $50-$60
  • Children 6-12: $60 -$80
  • Teens:    $80-$100

Can I request a specific age or gender?

We appreciate your willingness to sponsor any child in need. We understand that you may enjoy shopping for a child of a certain age or gender but it is difficult to accommodate specific preferences.

If you have a child in school, we ask that you NOT request a child of the same age since it can be awkward for your child to see a classmate wearing the clothes you purchased and we try to protect the privacy of all children and families.

When will I find out who I’ll be shopping for?

You will get a form with a Family Number instead of a last name to protect the family’s privacy, and the first name of each child, along with shopping information and guidelines before Thanksgiving. Gifts are to be delivered to the Christmas Bureau on Saturday, December 7th  from 9:00-12.

How do I know what to buy?

The Christmas Bureau asks every family to give us each child’s height, weight, clothing sizes, color preferences, any special interests like teams, characters, etc, and what the children would like as presents. We provide that information to you along with the first name of each child on a Shopper Form and then we ask you to write down each item you buy so parents will know what has been purchased. Some parents provide lots of details and some are so grateful for anything that they say anything is fine and then you can decide based on the children’s ages and sizes.

Do we deliver presents directly to the children?

No. We ask you to deliver wrapped gifts to us and then families come to pick up their presents and food from us. To protect the family’s privacy, we assign each family a number.

When & where do we bring the wrapped presents?

On Saturday Dec. 7th, please bring wrapped and labeled gifts and the shopper form listing all purchases to the address included in your sponsor letter anytime between 9:00-12noon.  

Do we buy gifts for the parents?

No. We ask you to focus your efforts on the children. We provide food for the family. If you’d like to, we encourage you to buy a game the whole family can play with: that can be labeled “For the whole family”

Can I donate used toys, clothes or stuffed animals?

If you have new, unopened gifts, you may bring those in unwrapped but we do not accept used toys, stuffed animals, or clothing.  If you have gently used coats or snow pants, please donate them to Angelo’s dry cleaners in Ithaca and they will dry clean them for free and give them to Catholic Charities to distribute to families.

How many people does the Christmas Bureau help?

In 2018, 163 children received clothing and gifts, 61 families received a week’s worth of food and 97 older, isolated individuals received Fruit & Goody Bags.

Who may I contact if I have more questions?

Feel free to call Nancy or Judy at home at (607) 387-3667.  You may also sign up to help on this site, or e-mail