The City Union Mission’s Christmas Store, where homeless, near-homeless and at-risk men and women can shop for their families at no cost, will close its doors for the season tomorrow, December 22. The Mission estimates the number of families helped will reach 800 this year. That represents 2,500 individuals, through this vital annual ministry and they are grateful for the community support.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to set up and run our Christmas Store each year,” Chief Executive Officer Dr. Terry Megli said. “We are blessed to have the support of many individuals, businesses, churches and groups who have donated gifts and volunteered to help.”
The store is located at the Mission’s material goods warehouse at 1700 E. 8th Street. “It costs about $7,000 a day to keep our shelves full so every family that shops can make their selections.” Megli explained. “It’s an amazing undertaking and the Mission is so thankful for the financial donations from generous friends that have helped offset that expense.” The Mission estimates they’ve handed out over 11,000 gifts through the store this season alone.
“Buying gifts isn’t often an option when you’ve got to buy food to feed your family. Struggling parents want nothing more than to give their kids a Christmas full of love, laughter and joy. Year-after-year our Mission Christmas initiative has provided an opportunity for caring people in our community to join together to celebrate the birth of Christ and help make Christmas wishes come true.” Megli said.