Press Release

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

IMG - PR - Holiday Drive 2016 636x358
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. – Dec. 21, 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 nonprofit 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 nonprofit 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 honored 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 It’s All About the Kids Foundation were playpens, learning toys and puzzles, stuffed animals and athletic gear. “Thank you to the wonderful women and men of GIA for their amazing generosity. With their help, we are 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 nonprofit organization 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 consultation, interview coaching and apparel, technology resources, employment retention and career building programs. 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 nonprofit organization that creates new and innovative programs 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 nonprofit program organized 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 organization that runs programs for 1,300 nonprofits, 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 nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism.