The Barnabas Connection is excited to launch a new pilot project this December, called “The Christmas Store”. Wimberley UMC, Cypress Creek Church, and Wimberley Rotary Club have signed on as partners providing donations for the store and volunteers to support this new effort.
The Christmas Store concept is based on the idea of providing Christmas assistance that builds dignity and maintains self-sufficiency for families in need. The Barnabas Connection first became aware of the concept from resources like “Toxic Charity” and “When Helping Hurts.” Vicki McCuistion, Barnabas Connection Executive Director, volunteered at a version of a Christmas store in Dallas, Texas in December, 2013 with the Dallas Leadership Foundation to see how it all worked. Clearly the scale was much bigger, but the concept was the same: providing new items priced at 75% or below retail and allowing families to shop for their own gifts.
Conversations have been happening ever since and the decision was made to replicate a much smaller version and try it out with approximately 12-16 families, just to learn and see what happens. Families at Scudder Elementary, Habitat House recipients, and Barnabas Connection clients were invited to complete an application and will be notified soon if they are selected to shop at the store. The Christmas Store will be “open” the first weekend of December for the selected families.
To learn more, donate items, or volunteer, please contact Vicki McCuistion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of new items we are seeking during the month of November:
• household items like dishes, toaster ovens, coffee pots, crock pots
• toys, games, art supplies for children of all ages
• sporting goods – like footballs, basketballs, bicycles and helmets
• children’s socks and underwear, pajamas
• cash for us to shop for similar items. (Checks can be made to the Barnabas Connection and are tax-deductible.)