Parents from a total of 76 families were prized customers at this year’s Greatest Gift Christmas Store at the Binghampton Development Corporation, which was open December 10-12.
The Christmas Store is a way to help Binghampton parents and guardians provide quality gifts for their children.
The entire stock of brand-new toys is made up of donations, but these donations are actually purchased by the shoppers at a fraction of the original cost.
Opening up a store like this one helps families make their own choices for the gifts their children receive, and it doesn’t keep from them the satisfaction and joy of actually providing the gifts themselves.
You can read more about the store on an earlier Christ Church Blog post here.
As someone who only got to do a bit of “window shopping,” I think it is safe to say that this was the most successful year for the store so far, and that is in very large part due to the quantity and quality of donations by Christ Church members. A number of you even brought materials to decorate the store space, granting to it a warm, inviting, festive atmosphere.
To give your donations many of you, like Eva Lang, utilized the Christmas Store’s special Amazon Wish List for gift ideas from which donations could be conveniently shipped to the stockpile at SOS. “I went to the list and found that one of the items listed was a toy lawnmower,” said Eva. “Well, it is an odd thing, but my mother was just loved to mow! She mowed her yard, her neighbor’s yard and the yard at the church. She used to joke that her spiritual gift was mowing. I was thrilled to be able to give some toy mowers to the BDC Christmas Store. This is truly a great way to participate in the community in a special way.”
Your donations and support of the Greatest Gift Christmas Store affect lives in ways that you’ll never know.
“A grandmother shared her thanks as tears ran down her cheeks,” said CUMC member and Executive Director of the BDC, Robert Montague, “telling us that it is only because of the Christmas Store that she could give her granddaughter presents this year. Each year, your generosity provides families a moment of hope and love in the sacred space between parents and grandparents and their children. As you open your presents on Christmas morning, please know that a few hundred people are experiencing Christ’s love in their family time, relieved of the desperate pressure to provide by your gift of dignity. The gifts of a children’s Bible and nativity scene will remind them of the incredible love of a savior that would chose to enter our / their world through a manger. Thank you for making this year’s store the most special yet.”
Much of the success of this year’s store is also owed to CUMC member Abbye Pates, who served for the first time as the Coordinator of the Christmas Store. “I’m honored to have led and served alongside the our great team at the Christmas Store,” said Abbye. “This year’s gifts were of great quality, evidenced by the time parents took to pick out gifts for the children and the happiness in their conversations with us. We’re thankful for the support of CUMC, Christ Methodist Day School, and many others!”