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Better Together Christmas Store 2016

As a dad with adult children (25, 21, and 16), I was reflecting recently how different this Christmas season feels to my wife and me. We have such fun memories of our kids when they were younger, and the excitement of buying them special Christmas presents and the excitement they had as they opened them. Yet the reality is, for many families who live in poverty, Christmas ends up being the exact opposite. Moms and dads and grandparents feel the stress of wondering if they can even afford to buy their kids anything. In fact, our friends from Bridge Church recently shared with me that many families will actually not make their house payment in December so they can buy gifts for their kids.

The Better Together Christmas store was put together for these families!

img_0469Last weekend, over 100 families from Village One, Franklin School and Bridge Church came with whatever money they had to shop for their kids in a dignified way at the store. With the over 1,200 gifts and toys that CCC donated discounted up to 70%, parents and grandparents were able to choose the right gifts for their children at an affordable cost.

I recall one couple that were so thankful to shop around and find the exact Easy-Bake Oven that their daughter had been wanting all year long. Others were in tears when we gifted them a few dollars as they didn’t have quite enough money.

img_0497Another lady came prepared to pay for her sister’s shopping, but we were able to bless her sister’s family by telling her she didn’t owe a penny. Her debt had been paid, just like Jesus has paid own debt in dying for us. What a special message to convey at Christmas!

A grandmother showed up with $120 to buy gifts for all six of her grandchildren that were living with her. Not only did she go home with amazing gifts like a bicycle and dolls for her grandchildren, she didn’t have to spend all her money to do it.

The toys were just a small part of the reason for putting on the Christmas store. The home run for us is to help Bridge Church develop relationships with people in the Village One community and for the love of Jesus to shine bright. Thank you, Christ Community, for coming alongside what God is doing in Village One and helping to meet a felt need in the community. Let’s keep praying for Bridge Church and for all the people we touched this Christmas in Village One!

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