The Christmas Store exists to provide the gift of new toys at Christmas to children in low-income families by engaging volunteers in meaningful community service.
There are many families who do not have adequate resources to purchase gifts for their children at Christmas time. They find themselves struggling just to make ends meet for the necessities of life. Additionally, there are many other people in this area who have abundant resources. They find themselves wanting to help their neighbors, but do not know what the need is or how to help. The purpose of the Christmas Store is to bring those two groups together.
Following the instructions of Jesus, the Christmas Store is designed to help families in the towns and cities of southern Wake County who are in need during the holidays.
The Christmas Store will take place this year on Friday December 9 and Saturday, December 10, and is hosted each year by United Church at 820 East Williams Street (Hwy 55) in Apex, NC.
Families are referred to the Christmas Store by Western Wake Crisis Ministry, Dorcas Ministries, the Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry and the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. Throughout the year, these organizations work with people who are in crisis situations resulting from a lack of resources. They refer clients with children 14 years of age or younger to register for the Christmas Store. School counselors from local schools also refer families whom they know to be in need during the holiday season to register for the Christmas Store.
Client registration takes place at United Church over a period of 6 weeks in October and November. Upon registration, each client receives an appointment time during the store, and has an opportunity to “shop” at the store on that day and time. (Click to learn more about becoming a client
Meanwhile, partner organizations are asking their patrons, customers and members to donate new toys to the store, for children from ages 1 to 14. Toys will arrive for the store throughout the month of November, and can be shipped or dropped off to United Church at 820 East Williams Street, Apex, NC 27502. The Apex ReStore, at 826 East Williams Street, is also a toy donation location. (Click to learn more about becoming a partner.)
Once the Christmas Store begins and clients arrive, they are greeted, checked in for their appointment, and treated to holiday music, decorations and refreshments with the help of volunteers. Free childcare is provided by volunteers for clients who bring their children. The children will visit with Santa's helpers, hear the Christmas story, and enjoy crafts and games. Volunteers then assist clients in locating the toys for the particular age group and gender of each registered child. Clients have the opportunity to select 3 gifts for each child registered. When clients have finished shopping, volunteers wrap the toys. Once wrapping is completed, volunteers assist the clients in getting the gifts to their car and picking up their children from care. (Click to learn more about becoming a volunteer