Press release

Carlsbad Institute Donates Hundreds of Toys, Clothing, Cosmetics and More to Two San Diego Charities

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Photo by Emily Lane; © GIA
Stephen Morisseau, GIA’s director of corporate communications; Veronika Janis, GIA’s senior coordinator of corporate events and meetings; Angela Brannon-Baptiste, co-founder and president of the Board for It’s All About the Kids Foundation; Sylvia Evans-McKinney, founder and executive director of Dress for Success San Diego; and Susan Schindelar, GIA’s vice president of global marketing.

GIA’s holiday drive supports Dress for Success San Diego and It’s All About the Kids

CARLSBAD, Calif. – 21 December 2015 – GIA (Gemological Institute of America) staff and students in Carlsbad are helping brighten the holiday season for San Diegans in need, donating hundreds of toys, clothing, cosmetics and nearly $1,000 to two local charities as part of its annual Holiday Gift Drive. The Institute collected nearly 1,000 items for Dress for Success San Diego, a non-profit that provides a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women achieve economic independence and thrive in work and in life; and nearly 250 items for It’s All About the Kids®, a non-profit foundation that supports local children’s charities.
Among the nearly 1,000 items donated to Dress for Success San Diego were professional attire, accessories and cosmetics. "We are honoured to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of GIA’s annual Holiday Gift Drive. These donations will brighten the holiday season and provide a confidence boost to our clients as they enter the workforce,” said Sylvia Evans-McKinney, founder and executive director of Dress for Success San Diego.
Among the nearly 250 items donated to the It’s All About the Kids Foundation were playpens, learning toys and puzzles, soft toy animals and athletics gear. “Thank you to the wonderful women and men of GIA for their amazing generosity. With their help, we have been able to surpass our goal of making the holidays bright for over 1,600 children this year,” said Angela Brannon-Baptiste, co-founder and president of the board for It’s All About the Kids Foundation.   
Dress for Success San Diego is a non-profit organisation focused exclusively on empowering disadvantaged women to compete for jobs, build careers and improve the quality of life for their families. At its boutique, staff and volunteers provide private consultations, interview coaching and apparel, technology resources, and employment retention and career building programmes. Dress for Success San Diego has served nearly 9,000 local women since 1998, referred from more than 60 social service agency partners.
It’s All About the Kids Foundation is a non-profit organisation that creates new and innovative programmes to benefit children’s charities and enhance the lives of less fortunate children and their families. The foundation is committed to the advancement of children through the joining of music, the arts and the generosity of corporations and individuals. In all, It’s All About the Kids collects toys for more than 1,600 children in San Diego and Baja Mexico. 
GIA’s New York campus is getting into the spirit of the season as well, working with Toys for Tots, a non-profit programme organised by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which collects and distributes toys to children whose parents are unable to afford them. They are also conducting a coat drive for New York Cares, the city’s largest volunteer management organisation that runs programmes for 1,300 non-profits, city agencies and public schools. 

GIA’s annual Holiday Gift Drive has supported local charities since 1996. For more details about the Institute, visit

About GIA

An independent non-profit organisation, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognised as the world’s foremost authority in gemmology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which today is recognised by virtually every professional jeweller in the world.
Through research, education, gemmological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewellery by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism.