Bicycles, Games, and Toys: How You Can Provide Christmas to Local Families
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Bicycles, Games, and Toys: How You Can Provide Christmas to Local Families

Bicycles, Games, and Toy for Children of Ten Local Non-Profits -How YouCan ProvideChristmas Philanthropyto Local Families in Need!

Gifts from the Heart Christmas Shop is a unique partnership between ten local nonprofit organizations - Neighbor Up Brevard, Club Esteem, Love INC, Family Promise of Brevard, Community of Hope, Eckerd Connects, New Life Mission, Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida-Cocoa Branch, and Women’s Center of Brevard. Each organization serves families who live on the economic margins of our community. During the Christmas season, parents and guardians of children served by these ten organizations are offered the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for their children at a greatly reduced and affordable cost at our Gifts from the Heart Christmas Shop. Each gift purchased is, in essence, two gifts – a gift for the child and the gift of joy and an affirmation of dignity for the parent.

Here’s how it works:

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 between $50- $100 is priced at $13.

The shop provides a welcoming and festive experience where shoppers select from a large array of toys and have the choice of a complimentary gift wrap from caring volunteers.

An option is available for struggling families to earn “Shop Dollars” in advance of shop opening day by volunteering with one of the partner organizations. For every hour volunteered, they earn a $10 credit to spend at the shop.

GFTH Christmas Shop has the added goal of hiring a shop manager and two assistant managers at each of its two locations - ideally persons who are program participants - to handle day-to-day operations; thus, providing a seasonal part time employment opportunity to persons in need. All other assistance is provided by many volunteers from the partner organizations.

This will be the sixth year for Gifts From the Heart Christmas Shop initially launched by Neighbor Up Brevard, Club Esteem, and Love INC in 2016. The shop has been an amazing success with parents purchasing at least three gifts per child for over 518 children in 2020, an increase of 22%!

At a moment when we are all still feeling the effects of COVID-19, those effects are likely felt disproportionally among the clients served by these ten organizations. It has never been more important to support your community at Christmas. To meet the demand, GFTH must collect and stock the shelves with 3,000 toys before opening day on December 4th to serve an anticipated 1,000 children in 2021, and it depends on the community to make that happen! This year we are expanding to two locations – one in Rockledge and one in Melbourne - to serve our families that are often challenged with transportation.

Here are a few ways to provide that support:

  • Don’t care to shop in the stores? Donate new toys via the Amazon, Target, and Walmart 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.

We hope you will join us for the joyful blessing donors to the program receive, knowing that they help not only to make Christmas possible for the children, but make affording Christmas possible for the parents!

For more information on Gifts from the Heart Christmas Shop, including a report from 2020, please check out the website at www.giftsfromtheheartshop.org

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