The Christmas Store is a community wide effort to collect toys and make them available for purchase to families at a discount of 80%-90% off retail price. The foundation belief of this program is that “…families would prefer to provide for themselves at Christmas rather than receive a hand out. Even if a family has limited means to do so, a mom, dad, aunt, uncle or grandparent wants to buy gifts for their families around the holidays.”
Event organizers Melissa Bergen, Katie Wiebe and Brittney Neal-Soberanis have introduce The Christmas Store to the community. Churches, businesses, community organizations and schools are being invited to participate by recruiting volunteers, collecting toys, and generally spreading the word about the program.
In addition to community promotion the Christmas Store team has met with Healthy Start, an organization that provides support and resources to families in the Richland School District. Healthy Start has agreed to partner with the Christmas Store team to refer families who will be invited to shop at the store. Toy collections will take place throughout the month of November. The Christmas Store will take place at the Shafter Veterans Hall in December.
The Christmas Store Team is always looking for help in the following areas:
Business Ambassador: If you have connections with local businesses and Shafter, we need you! A Business Ambassador will be equipped by the Christmas Store Leadership team to go out and meet with businesses to explain the program and recruit them to participate for toy collection or volunteer recruitment.
Toy Collection: We are also looking for organizations that are willing to collect new toys or monetary donations during the month of November. This could be a collection amongst employees or hosting a public drop off site. The Christmas Store Leadership team is currently preparing materials to support these efforts including posters, suggested gift lists and more.
Christmas Store Volunteers: We will need 25-50 volunteers to prepare for and host the Christmas store. Volunteers will help organize and price toys, serve as greeters, cashiers, and wrappers among other things.
Organizations that participate will receive recognition at the event as well as be invited to contribute flyers, coupons, or information about your services to the “Family Resource Table” that parents will be able to visit throughout the morning.
If you or your organization is interested in participating please reach out to Brittney Neal-Soberanis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 746-5045.