The pilot project Christmas Store ended up serving 22 local families. Families were invited to spend up to $35 cash in the store and could shop for anyone they wanted. Applications to shop at the store were provided to families on the free and reduced lunch program at Scudder Primary, Habitat for Humanity homeowners, Barnabas clients, and the WUMC MDO Preschool. A team then selected an initial 16 families from the approximately 50 completed applications to shop in the store.
Items including clothes, toys, games, sporting equipment, beauty products, and household items were provided by Cypress Creek Church, Wimberley United Methodist Church, Home Depot, Unity Church of Wimberley, Miss Mousey and Company, Wimberley United Methodist Women, Wimberley United Methodist Men, and Arbonne by Jennifer Hargraves. All items were marked at 25% or below retail. Books on reading level were provided free to each family by the Rotary Club of Wimberley. The amazing shopping location was provided by Curves and Brookshire Brothers Realty.
Shopping was held on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6. After the initial round of shopping by 14 of the 16 families, another 8 families were scheduled to shop on Wednesday, December 10 due to the quantity of items remaining. The families who shopped seemed to truly appreciate the quality of the selection and shopped for not only their children but additional family members as needed. Families spent between $17 and $35 and prioritized based on their needs.
Due to the generosity of our donors, even after the 22 families had shopped, we still had more merchandise left over! This merchandise was then shared with Wimberley Gold Santa and the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center that serves many Wimberley families.
A special thanks to Ana Garcia, Barb and Ron Rutherford, Sara and Waymon Thurman, Cheri Martin, Nora Turner, and Chuck Nicholson for pulling this project together!
The Barnabas Connection looks forward to compiling the evaluation forms from participants and volunteers and will begin considering future development of this program in the coming months.
Your input and feedback is much appreciated and should be shared with the Barnabas Connection Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.