Community Raises Enough To Help Nearly 1,000 Older Kids & Teens reporter Erich Martin working on getting books together for kids at the United Way of Bucks County last Friday.
Credit: Tom Sofield/


Take a moment to pat yourself on the back or give yourself a toast.

You deserve it!

The Bucks County community collected nearly $30,000 to help just under 1,000 older kids and teens who were likely to get nothing or very little this holiday season. Your support of the United Way of Bucks County’s Holiday Gift Card Drive was incredible.

Credit: Tom Sofield/

The program that is led annually by the United Way of Bucks County provides $30 worth of gift cards – $25 to a retailer and $5 to an eatery – to older kids and teens whose families have a financial hardship. Many of the wonderful toy drives in our region only help younger kids and their older siblings are left without a gift. The Holiday Gift Card Drive bridges that gap.

From single parents to grandparents on a fixed income raising teenagers, the stories break your heart, and I am warmed to know these families will have one less worry this holiday season as they spend time together.

The goal for the Holiday Gift Card Drive when it kicked off on November 15 was 810 older kids and teens. However, more and more requests came in and that number was pushed up to 989 by this past Friday. Through your generosity, every single request was filled. That’s impressive!

Donations were a bit slow to come in during the first weeks of the Holiday Gift Card Drive, but the community really stepped up and filled the void. People saw our posts, read the email blasts and watched the videos about the collection effort and they stepped up. and were proud to support the Holiday Gift Card Drive over the past several years and our readers were among the community members who stepped up. I talked, emailed with, Facebooked or Tweeted with at least three dozen readers over the past weeks who were proud they donated or looking for information on how to contribute.

Volunteers getting gift cards together.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Marissa Christie, Danielle Bush, Katie Matarazzo and the entire team at the United Way of Bucks County were great to work with as they led the drive. Our Erich Martin, Amanda Burg and Ingrid Sofield helped out throughout the drive, providing support, talent and time.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more. Community is more than a zip code, and I think the one that our Lower Bucks County residents and business owners have formed is something special and to be proud of all year long. When there is a need, residents and businesses step up to help time and time again.

Thank you for your generosity and happy holidays!


Tom Sofield

Publisher, and

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001