You receive gift cards in the mail along with instructions for handing out.
You distribute gift cards to people in need instead of cash.
100% of your $25 card is used to buy goods and services. People also meet with case managers and connect to services.
We send you an email when recipients use your cards.
Not everyone you give a card to will use it, and that’s ok. If your card expires, 100% of your donation still reaches someone else in need.
Recipients redeem cards through our trusted network of local nonprofit partners. HandUp provides flexibility, with no cash exchanged.
When someone redeems a gift card at one of our nonprofit partners they’re also connected with services that help with housing, employment, and health.
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Once you purchase the card, it will be mailed to your shipping address. You can then give this card to someone in need on the street. That person then takes the card to our non-profit community partner and exchanges it for various items such as clothes, food, or other basic necessities. Additionally, they are now connected with a community partner who can provide them further assistance through their various other resources and services available.
The HandUp gift card is redeemed with our local nonprofit partner for equal value in food, clothing, transportation, bills, or nearly any other basic need. Partners may provide a gift card to a retailer that will meet that person’s specific needs (like Safeway or Walgreens), make an online order, or pay a bill directly. Cash is never exchanged and the funds are managed via the case manager at the nonprofit.
We understand that you may not want to make assumptions about people when giving out these cards. We have found that those who are actively seeking help are usually most receptive to receiving these cards. You can also give this card to a person that you think may benefit from the services offered at the local non-profit.
Once you purchase a card it will automatically be linked to your HandUp Donor account and the email associated with this account. Once the card is redeemed you will get an email notification letting you know.
First things first, always remember to SMILE - this simple gesture goes a long way! Then you can follow with a very basic, "Hey, how’s it going?"
Make sure to introduce yourself and ask them their name. You can also offer them a coffee or hot chocolate.
If someone is approaching you asking for helping you can say, "I don’t have cash, but I have this gift card"
Remember, homelessness is a situation and basic kindness toward our fellow human beings goes a long way.
Each card comes with an info sheet that will have all the important information on it. It will provide the address and contact info of the redemption center, a map of it’s location, examples of what types of things they can use it for, and how to go about redeeming it.
Before we launched these Gift Cards we worked closely with donors, our nonprofit partners, and recipients of the Gift Cards to ensure the experience was positive for everyone involved. $25 is the value that really motivates the recipient to travel to a drop-in center to redeem. Because it takes time and potentially transportation costs to get there, this amount is what made it worth going.
At this time, if a card is lost we are not able to replace it. But the good news is if it is not redeemed by the expiration date then the funds will automatically be transferred the HandUp National Fund to benefit others in need.
At this time gift cards are only available in San Francisco, but we will be expanding to other cities in the future. To be notified when gift cards are available in your city, sign up here.
Once a month we'll update you on how HandUp is finding new ways to fight homelessness and how you can get involved. We'll also send you some inspiring storied on how our members are overcoming struggles and how you could give them a boost.
You'll start to receive updates in your email on 's progress.