We were so excited to open our store again this Christmas season!
Here’s how the store worked. Several days in December, we transform some of our office space into a place where people can come to shop for their families. The store is stocked with new items donated from churches, groups, businesses and individuals. Items are bargain priced, somewhere between a garage sale and a wholesale price. Families who feel that cash flow will still be a problem have been given the opportunity throughout the year to volunteer work hours in exchange for store credit. Revenue generated from the sale of the items is invested back into the store.
Why not give the gifts to families? We were challenged by Robert Lupton’s book, Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life to be more intentional about people’s development and dignity. “If we are to rightly care for those in need, the responsibility lies with those with the resources to create systems of exchange built on interdependency rather than dependency.”
The store was a mutually encouraging and uplifting experience for shoppers, volunteers, and donors. We were a little surprised ourselves by how much more positive feedback we received from everyone involved than the years when we gave Christmas gifts to families.
So how can I be involved in the future? Here are some ways: 1. Donate new items to stock the store. 2. Donate time to help organize and run the store in December. 3. Donate work opportunities through your business so that individuals may earn store credit.