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Newday and Parker Hospital Hold 6th Annual Christmas Store »
“Remember, choose what you need; not what you want.” These words, which held this family’s story, were spoken by a dad to his three young daughters as they completed the check-in process for Newday’s 6th Annual Christmas Store, December 3-6. The three excited, little girls stepped into the magic of the The Christmas Store, while dad, with tears running freely down his face was escorted to the parent room. He was warmly welcomed and offered a hot drink and homemade cookies, while he waited gratefully for his daughters to “shop.”
The Christmas Store, a partnership between Newday SDA Church, Parker Adventist Hospital and Parker Hospital Foundation provides a Christmas experience for families who don’t typically qualify for other holiday services in our community, but who also would not otherwise have Christmas. We partner with 12 public schools in our community to identify these families. Once they arrive at the Christmas Store, wide-eyed and excited children are paired with a personal shopper to choose from a variety of appealing gifts for every member of their household, including themselves. Once gifts are selected, the child, along with his/her personal shopper, goes to a wrapping station to choose wrapping paper for each gift. Children are then escorted as a family to their parents and accompanied to their cars by a Christmas Store volunteer, who offers to help carry the bags of wrapped gifts.
In addition to blessing these families, the Christmas Store has become an experience in which the Parker community comes together to serve. Organized by Newday, the nearly 200 volunteers needed to operate The Christmas Store come from Newday, Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Parker Police Department, and Parker Chamber of Commerce.
Lisa Engelkemier, one of the pastors at Newday commented, “The Christmas Store doesn’t claim to solve all the problems our families face at Christmas time, but it does take the edge off this challenging season and reminds families they are not alone, there is good in the world, and they live in a community that cares.”