A New-fangled Approach to Christmas Philanthropy
Nine Area Nonprofits Join Forces To Show an Innovative Way
Imagine what can happen when nonprofit organizations partner together for an innovative alternative Christmas program! This Christmas, nine area nonprofit organizations – Neighbor Up Brevard, Club Esteem, Love INC, Family Promise of Brevard, Community of Hope, Eckerd Connects, Brevard Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, and Children's Home Society, Space Coast - are joining forces to offer parents in their respective programs an alternative to Christmas charity handouts. It’s called Gifts From the Heart (GFTH) Christmas Shop, and they need the community’s assistance.
GFTH Christmas Shop is a unique approach to Christmas charity, one that recognizes that even parents of modest means would prefer to purchase gifts for their children at Christmastime, as opposed to accepting handouts. GFTH Christmas Shop seeks to be a dignity-affirming shopping experience for parents and guardians of children associated with at least one of the nine respective nonprofit partners. Toys are sold at the Shop at prices dramatically less than retail, purposely marked down to be affordable. For example, a toy with a retail value of $50 or more is priced at $12, regardless of whether its true value is $51 or $151. As a number of the partner organizations work with homeless families or other families struggling economically, an option is available to earn “Shop Dollars” in advance of shop opening day by volunteering with one of the partner organizations, or at Love INC’s Village Thrift store, the host location of the Shop. This year, GFTH Christmas Shop has the added goal of hiring a manager, an assistant manager, and an assistant manager/volunteer coordinator - ideally persons who are program participants - to handle day-to-day operations; thus, providing a seasonal part time employment opportunity to persons in need.
This will be the fourth year for Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop. Neighbor Up Brevard, Club Esteem, and Love INC first launched GFTH in 2016, and Family Promise of Brevard joined the effort in 2017. The Shop has been an amazing success! Last year, with eight nonprofits involved, parents were able to purchase at least three gifts per child for over 304 children. This year the challenge is magnified. With the addition of Children's Home Society-Space Coast, the collective need represents over 600 children. GFTH must collect and stock the shelves with 1,800 toys before December 7, opening day, to meet the demand. Community support has never been needed more than this Christmas. Here are a few ways to provide that support:
- Donate new toys via the Amazon and Target gift registry links found on the “How to Help” page of the GFTH website at www.giftsfromtheheartshop.org. The registries consist of toys most desired by the children, as determined by input from parents.
- Donate cash. Cash donations are used to purchase items that fly off the shelves and need replenishing. Just put “GFTH” in the memo line and mail your check to any one of the partner organizations. Addresses are found on the website.
- Help get out the good word about GFTH. Promote GFTH to friends, congregations and businesses. “Like” Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop on Facebook.
- Congregations and businesses may host a “Giving Tree” during part or all of the month of November.
For more information on Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop, including a report from 2018, please check out the website at www.giftsfromtheheartshop.org.