For many families, the holiday season feels anything BUT merry + bright.
The necessity of managing normal bills and expenses combined with the added pressure of buying Christmas gifts can cause many parents to experience a sense of stress and defeat during "the most wonderful time of the year". The Christmas Village Toy Store (CVTS) is a initiative designed to counteract that cycle in a way that honors the dignity of vulnerable families by empowering them to purchase Christmas gifts for their children.
HOW IT WORKS
The CVTS merges benevolence with a free market system. Community benefactors (churches, non-profits, businesses, etc.) contribute toys based on a wish list, and store operators set prices according to demand.
Shoppers are invited via special entry tickets given by the churches and organizations who run the store. In this way, the CVTS supports relationships the hosts are already engaged in and ensures that shoppers have support services throughout the year, not just during the holidays.
Finally, the store provides both the buyer and the seller with an opportunity to give and receive value. Benefactors from the community donate toys and volunteer their time, and the shoppers who purchase toys contribute to store profits which are later reinvested back into the community.
For the past several years, Watershed has partnered with other local churches to host a CVTS. Last year we provided 514 toys to the store we supported, and this year we're supporting the same store again on Saturday, December 9th, at Nations Ford Church.
Watershed has two goals for our participation in the christmas village toy store this year: to provide 700+ gifts for the store + to staff the store with 15-20 volunteers.
GIFT DONATION OPTIONS
Our annual church-wide gift collection will be held during the last week of November and on the first Sunday of December. Toy drop-off dates, times, and locations are as follows:
- November 27th-December 1st: 2101 Shenandoah Ave. between 9AM-4PM
- December 3rd: 2101 Shenandoah Ave. during either Sunday Gathering
Please use the store Wish List as a shopping guide!
If you are unable to drop off gifts but would still like to participate...
- You can purchase toys off of our Amazon Wish List. There are tons of options for all ages! The Amazon Wish List ordering deadline is Wednesday, November 29th, to ensure enough time for toys to ship.
- You can donate money here (select Christmas Village Toy Store in the drop down menu) and we will use the funds to purchase gifts on your behalf! The online donation deadline is Wednesday, November 29th, to ensure our team enough time to order toys.
We'd like to step up our participation with the CVTS this year by building a team of volunteers committed to helping run the store. This is an experience you will not forget! Volunteers are needed during the evenings of December 4th-7th to prepare for the store (pricing, stocking, decorating), and there are plenty of volunteer slots available during store hours on Saturday, December 9th! If you're interested in volunteering, sign up here and we'll send you more information about the opportunities.
Watershed will be collaborating with our school partnerships to invite families to shop, but if you know a family who you'd like to personally invite to the store, email Ashley for more information.