Gifts 4 Kids collecting clothes, toys, cash donations for holiday event for children of inmates

By Karen Story

Gifts 4 Kids was started by former inmate Vance Bartley in 2008, as a way to help the children of inmates, and to give back to the community he harmed.

Vance wanted to provide a festive holiday experience for kids whose incarcerated parent or guardian can't provide this for their child. Many of these kids live in disadvantaged economic circumstances.

Now in its third year, Gifts 4 Kids brings together children who share something in common: a parent in prison.

Last year about 300 kids aged 1-13 attended the event, plus 75 volunteers and family members.

There were 18 different activity rooms, including face painting, play room, carnival room, barber shop for haircuts and braiding, balloon art, arts & crafts room, toy room, and a clothing room. The event is sponsored by Justice Works!, a United Way agency, and is hosted at a school in Seattle. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

This year they need toys, clothing, and cash. They can accept used items that are in good condition. They especially need toys and gifts for 10-13 year old girls and boys.

The deadline is the end of November. The event is on Dec. 11.

100% of the money goes to the event - there are no paid organizers.

To drop off toys or clothes, contact

You can send your tax-deductible cash donation to:

Gifts 4 Kids / Nova H.S. 300 20th Ave E Seattle WA 98112 Attn: Joleen Franklin

For more information see or email