The Butter Paddle Gift Shop, presently located in the heart of downtown Los Gatos, California, is the perfect place to buy that special gift. The Butter Paddle is the fund-raising arm of the EMQ Auxiliary, which has served the needs of local children in need since 1934. The Auxiliary started by raising money through rummage sales and fashion shows. The proceeds from these events provided household items for the children’s residence. Items such as drapes, carpeting and even a washing machine so children could have clean socks every day were donated!
Over the years, the Auxiliary decided that a long-term, ongoing project would provide a more stable fund-raising base. Therefore, on June 1, 1967, The Butter Paddle Shop opened its doors in downtown Saratoga and was the first gourmet kitchen shop in Santa Clara Valley. The members at that time got the idea to name the store “The Butter Paddle” simply because one of the ladies had found an old-fashioned butter paddle while walking in Saratoga. In October of 2010, The Butter Paddle moved its operations to Los Gatos.
Our unique shop is run entirely by more than 70 trained volunteers, all locals from Santa Clara County. Volunteers do the buying, staffing and displays. Since 1967, the shop has evolved to include distinctive, upscale gifts of all price ranges. Hallmarks of the shop are custom wrapping and helpful customer service.
All proceeds from The Butter Paddle are donated to EMQ FamiliesFirst (www.emqff.org), a nonprofit organization. EMQ has been helping children and families in crisis since 1867, over 140 years! EMQ, also known as Eastfield Ming Quong, originally grew from two separate entities: Eastfield Children’s Center, which began as The Home of Benevolence (San Jose’s first orphanage) and Ming Quong Children’s Center, which was a rescue mission for Chinese slave girls. In 2008 EMQ merged with FamiliesFirst to serve children throughout California.
Today as one organization, EMQ FamiliesFirst annually provides mental health and social services to more than 6,600 children and their families in Santa Clara County and over 16,000 children statewide. EMQ FamiliesFirst offers a variety of programs such as residential treatment, short term and school-based intensive day treatment, mobile crisis intervention teams, intensive outpatient home-based services, addiction prevention services, and outpatient counseling. There are two residential campuses; one located in Campbell and the other in Los Gatos, California. The ages of the children residing at these two locations range from 6 to 17.
In addition to donating all its Butter Paddle proceeds, the EMQ Auxiliary traditionally hosts holiday parties for the children and offers special outings such as trips to Giant’s baseball games. Children are also treated to afternoons of bowling, miniature golf, and rock climbing. Members provide the food and presents for each child. For many of the children, these are the only birthday or Christmas presents they receive.
A Gift from The Butter Paddle is a gift to the Children in Crisis served by: