He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Store 2009-How and Why

Our store is next week. I thought I would take a minute to explain the store for you just in case you have missed our heart or have never heard the explanation of what the store is, and why we do it the way we do it. We chose the ‘store’ model rather than the ‘give away’ model because, for our context, we believe it is the most dignifying way to love our neighbors. We want to partner with parents and grandparents, rather than go around them by doing for their kids and grandkids. In our neighborhood we do have a high degree of households living below the poverty line. Our strategy is to provide a way for our neighbors to both contribute to their kids, AND be blessed by the opportunity the store offers to buy toys at reduced prices (30- 40% of the retail value). The discounts help tremendously. Last year, one of our neighbors was overjoyed as she shared that she was able to pay all her bills and buy Christmas presents for her children for the first year. We have learned a lot from the store and from our neighbors. When neighbors don’t feel like ‘charity cases’ they tend to be more open to real relationships. Many of the recipients of our store now volunteer at the store, doing everything from helping us purchase and price the toys, stock the shelves, wrap gifts, run the cash registers, and help with carrying the gifts to people’s cars. The atmosphere of the store is different also. Its fun… there is joy and real conversation and participation. It’s not an ‘us vs. them’ environment. It’s just us. Of course, we get taken advantage of. Some come to the store trying to ‘get over’ on us. Some have changed price tags out, lied, been rude and acted as if w e owed them something. But this is the exception, not the rule. The store is a blessing to our community. Last year over 300 kids received 3 presents apiece through our store. This year, we honestly anticipate over 600 kids to be bought for (if we have enough presents donated). Would you consider helping pull the store off this year? We really need toys, money, or gift cards to go towards the store.
Here are some quick helpful facts:
1. The dates of the store are December 14th-18th , from 4-7 p.m. daily. We will be accepting toys and money up until the night of the 17th.
2. The store will be held at our newly renovated building (1516 Mobile Rd.)
3. If you choose to buy baby dolls, please buy ‘brown skinned’ baby dolls.
4. You can serve with us by donating toys, helping us price toys, stock shelves, help with gift wrapping, and help carry out the loot to people’s cars.
5. If you buy toys, the age range is 1-15 years old, and you would help us tremendously if you would place a new price tag on the toy at 40% of the retail value. The price range is up to you.
6. Please call Kevin King 657-7049 if you can help.

Basketball Court

We are kicking back off our new basketball court fund raiser as well. Would you consider donating a few bucks to complete this court? Check out the following video to see if you would be interested in adopting a few feet of our court. www.6000feetaway.com Also, please send the link to anyone you think in your address book that could spare a few bucks.