Giving Tree guidelines

Some guidelines and information to help you with your Giving Tree.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides help to thousands of families at Christmas, which includes gift vouchers, toys for small children, gifts for young people as well as gifts for older adults. These gifts are distributed by our network of local volunteers.

We would be so grateful if your company, school or group would like to be Secret Santas and take part in the Giving Tree.


We will provide you with:

  • Tags for your Giving Tree which can be hung on your Christmas tree or handed out to those taking part
  • Posters to put up around your organisation
  • A list of suggested gifts for relevant age groups
  • Delivery information and a delivery docket to go with your gift donations
  • A certificate of appreciation to display on a noticeboard


You will:

  • Collect all donations by the cut-off date for your region to allow ample turnaround time for our volunteers visiting families in need
  • Ensure all gifts are unwrapped so that they are easily identifiable for our volunteers 
  • Include gift vouchers for teenagers and older adults as well as toys for small children
  • Ensure that all gifts are new and not second hand – minimum value of €10 please

We provide your company, school or group with posters and tags for the ‘Giving Tree’. Each tag lists a person and age group (e.g. Girl 4-7).

  1. Employees and members of your group then take a tag from the tree and buy a new gift for the child or adult on their tag.
  2. Pop the unwrapped gifts under your organisations Giving Tree or collection point.
  3. When your collection is over, drop the gifts to your local regional office or drop-off point.
  4. These gifts are then distributed by SVP to families in need, just in time for Christmas.

Gift Ideas

Age  Ideas
0-6 Simple and durable baby books, learning toys with lots of colours and things to do, toy animals, lego, action figures or dolls, books, art supplies (crayons, markers, colouring books etc.)
*Please don’t include soft toys or small pieces that could be swallowed.
*Please do not include any war figures or guns.
6-12 Popular toys, books, make-and-do kits, art supplies, t-shirts, scarfs and gloves, accessories, music/sports shop vouchers, sports items
Teenager Book/sports/game/music shop vouchers, vouchers for beauty products or hairdressing, beauty sets (make up or aftershave etc.), compilation CD’s, clothes (hats, gloves, scarves, baseball caps), sport themed gifts, cinema ticket vouchers, computer games, accessories (handbags, make-up, purses, scented candles, watches, wallets etc.)
Adults Aftershave, clothes (socks, hats, gloves, scarves, woolly jumpers, slippers etc.), books (sports, current affairs, fiction), electronic gadgets, beauty sets (make up or aftershave etc.), mugs, box of chocolates/ biscuits, photo frames 

For health and safety reasons all gifts must be unwrapped. We cannot accept the following:

  • No Soft Toys
  • No small pieces that can be swallowed for the 0‐3 age group
  • No war figures or guns.

Return your Giving Tree gifts

Gifts should be either placed unwrapped at the designated collection point or returned to your local Regional Office.

In some cases, it can be arranged to have gifts collected. Please contact your local Regional Office in order to arrange the details for drop off/collection.