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Offline phbrown

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The Christmas Store
« on: December 25, 2012, 10:40:17 PM »
I know Christmas has already passed but I just read about this on a website and wanted to share.


The Christmas store gives low-income parents the dignity and pride of being able to buy Christmas gifts for their kids at bargain prices, thanks to donors who provided the gifts.

How the Christmas Store Works

Any church or ministry can host a Christmas store to empower low-income parents to shop for Christmas gifts for their family. The Christmas store can easily be scaled to serve any number of participants: 10 families, 50, 100, or more. And it can be customized a number of different ways. Here are the basic elements you’ll need to make your Christmas store a success:

1. Form a team.

The first step is to form a team of people who will help organize and run your ministry’s Christmas store. The size of your team will largely depend on how many families you hope to serve.

2. Schedule a date for when your church or ministry will host its Christmas store.

It’s probably best to schedule the Christmas Store about three weeks before Christmas. While it may be too late to do that this year, save this article as a reminder for next year!

You’ll also need to identify a room or location that will give you enough space to display the toys and allow people to walk through to do their shopping.

2. Host a toy party in mid-November to collect donated gifts.

Invite church members, businesses, and the public to attend your Toy Party (featuring Christmas food or snacks) and bring new (or gently used) toys and gifts to donate to the Christmas store.

3. Promote the Christmas Store shopping day to your community.

Invite low-income families from your church and community to come to the Christmas Store to shop for their family’s Christmas gifts. If you feel that you need to limit the number of families you can serve, be sure to note that in your promotional materials, and invite families to call to register in advance.

4. Set prices for each item.

To make each gift as affordable as possible, FCS recommends setting your prices somewhere between garage sale price and wholesale price.

5. Host your Christmas Store.

Finally, the day has come. Make it a fun, festive time for the parents who come to shop. Take the time to get to know the families and invite them to attend your church or to take advantage of other opportunities your ministry has to offer. And when it’s all over, celebrate the fact that you gave low-income parents the gifts of dignity and pride as they were empowered to shop for affordable gifts for their children.

The Christmas Store concept is gaining momentum across the nation, as more and more churches want to move beyond the traditional “Adopt a Family” to do something that gives parents a hand up instead of a hand out.

The Christmas Store does take a little more work than “Adopt a Family” to organize, but in our church’s experience, it was well worth the effort to be able to help parents help themselves.
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