Frequently Asked Questions

01 How much should I spend? How many gifts should I buy?

There is no set price, but as a general rule, we hope that each member of an adopted family will receive at least two gifts with $25 minimum spent on them. For example, this could be a winter coat and a toy, shoes and pants, or a collection of smaller gifts (hat, gloves, scarf, socks, toy, etc.). We would like there to be one practical gift and one fun gift. If you are worried that you cannot afford to buy two gifts, buy one and ask a friend to buy the second.

02 When can I find out about my family?

Social service agencies around St. Louis work to identify around 10,000 families in need. They send this information to the 100 Neediest Cases, and then this information is sent to us. E-mail us at if you would like to sponsor one of these families, and we will assign you or your group a case.

03 Can I contact my family?

No, you cannot. The 100 Neediest Cases guarantees the confidentiality of all the families, and therefore they will not give out contact info for these families. You will, however, receive the first names and ages of all family members and a brief story about them.

04 Should I wrap my gifts?

No, you should not wrap your gifts. Please label each gift with its full case number and the name of the family member it is for. Turn the gifts to the Student Involvement Office (upstairs in the DUC) during Gift Collection. We will record and sort the gifts, and they will be wrapped at the Gift-Wrapping Parties. You can help by stopping by to wrap at these events! See ‘Calendar’ for dates and times of Gift Collection and the Gift-Wrapping Parites this year.

05 Can non-Wash U people be involved?

Certainly! We encourage you to serve as a liaison to those you know outside the WU community. The only restriction is that we do ask that all liaisons be Washington University students, faculty, or staff.

06 Do you accept used clothing?

Each social service agency makes its own rules about used clothing. As a general rule, we ask that you not donate clothing which you would not be willing to wear.

07 What do I do if I have an oversized gift (refrigerator, dryer, etc.)?

GTGB only accepts medium-sized gifts (in addition to gifts that are small enough to wrap). We ask that everyone please bring all medium sized gifts to the Student Involvement Office (upstairs in the DUC) with the rest of your gifts for your adopted family.
GTGB will accept anything that can be carried easily by one person such as:

  • Microwave
  • Television – 20” or less
  • Bicycle
  • Small Furniture (small chair, small bookshelf, etc)

GTGB will NOT accept anything that cannot be carried by one person such as:

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Bed Frame
  • Mattress
  • Desk
  • Dresser
  • Large Furniture

GTGB understands that some of the most requested items by families are oversized gifts such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators. Although we are not able to personally deliver these items ourselves, we recognize the great need for them. So, if you wish to donate any oversized gifts that GTGB cannot accept, you must be willing to transport the gift to the family on your own. You can personally deliver the item or pay for the item to be shipped to your family. Simply contact GTGB at and inform us that you have oversized gift(s) that you would like to deliver to your family. We will check to see if your family has released their information which can be kept confidential. If they have released it, we will then reply to you with your family’s information (if your family released their information, which is usually kept confidential) which includes their telephone number and address. It is then up to you to deliver the oversized gift item to your family. Please note: It is fine to give a slightly used oversized gift, as long as it is in good working condition.

10 Can I get a tax deductible for my monetary expenses or donations to Give Thanks Give Back?

Due to the large number of cases being dealt with for Give Thanks Give Back, sponsors can only receive a tax deductible from contributing to Give Thanks Give Back through a monetary donation made payable to 100 Neediest Cases. Any purchases on gifts or oversized items are not tax deductible as far as we know. If you are donating money to 100 Neediest Cases by sending a check through Give Thanks Give Back, please e-mail us at

You can also donate directly to GTGB by writing out a check to Give Thanks Give Back.  Otherwise, by writing it to 100 Neediest Cases, the check goes directly to them.