City Union Mission is preparing to open its annual Christmas Store where the homeless and other at-risk populations can “shop” for gifts at no cost.
The Mission anticipates 250 families will use the store the very first week. It opens Monday, November 16 and is available to their residents and income-qualified families from across Kansas City.
“There’s no better time than the holidays to share your blessings with our neighbors in need. At the Mission, we rely on the generosity of our community to help make Christmas wishes come true for local families,” states Chief Executive Officer Terry Megli.
The Mission encourages individuals, groups, churches and businesses to begin shopping now to help stock the Christmas Store with inventory before the opening day. Families will be able to shop for brand-new items: two gifts for each adult/teen, three gifts for each child, plus a household gift that would bless the entire family. In all, the Mission expects to provide gifts for close to 900 families and 3,000 people in need throughout the holiday season.
Families qualify to shop in the store through an interview at the Mission’s Community Assistance offices—open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in November; and Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm in December through the 21st. Beyond qualifying families to shop, these interviews give Mission volunteers an opportunity to encourage, pray for and share the love of Christ with every family they meet.
Megli says it provides a way for families to find normalcy in an otherwise challenging situation.
When you’re struggling to keep food on the table or a roof overhead, buying your family gifts just isn’t possible
“When you’re struggling to keep food on the table or a roof overhead, buying your family gifts just isn’t possible,” Megli say. “That’s why we urge our community to come together in a spirit of generosity and make this Christmas extra special by providing enough gifts for everyone who comes through our doors.”
The Christmas Store is a central part of the organization’s annual Mission Christmas program, which last year provided 10,500 gifts to thousands of income-qualified families and individuals through the Christmas Store, plus gifts to children in the Mission’s Vanderberg Youth Center, men in their emergency shelter and residents of local nursing homes.
For more information on City Union Mission and how to get involved, visit cityunionmission.org.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice