They are called “Christmas Stores” because the items are not simply given away. A small amount, $5.00, is charged for each child, entitling the parent(s) to select toys and several pieces of clothing. The money collected is used in a neighborhood fuel assistance fund for the winter months. The stores are a ministry to the whole person, in which relationships are central. Parents retain their dignity as they carefully select gifts which they have paid to obtain.

We need gifts for children ages birth through 12 years old (shortages are reported for the 7- to 10-year-olds). Go easy on stuffed animals, Barbie dolls, Candy Land, and Chutes & Ladders Board Games. In other words, purchase gifts that you would want your own children to receive.

Suggestions: clothing (jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, sleepwear, socks, underwear, coats, hats, gloves); games; toys; books; bicycles and helmets

Do not wrap the gifts; the parents need to see what they are selecting. (Donations of small amounts of wrapping paper will be appreciated.) Please leave price tags on items so that it is easier to distinguish less expensive from more expensive items. Please deliver your donations to the Missions Tables in the Upper or Lower Commons by Wednesday, December 5. Families, if you are participating in the ADVENTure Lunch on December 2, you are invited to bring your gifts to the Fellowship Hall that day.

The Center Directors continue to report that they are receiving an increase in requests for applications to participate in the stores. They want to help as many as possible, so consider adding some additional gifts to your donation or becoming a first time “Santa” by providing toys and clothing to bless the increased number of families who are in need this Christmas season.