PIH prepares for Christmas Shop

TROY — Partners In Hope has started preparations for its annual Christmas Shop, which will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 17-18 at First Presbyterian Church in Troy. The shop will serve families in need who live in Troy, Fletcher or Casstown. Last year, thanks to the generosity of the community, Partners In Hope served more than 110 families and more than 240 children.

This year, staff are excited to announce the new Senior Christmas program. Local agencies will be providing names of low income seniors that may be alone for Christmas and feel isolated. They may not have any family, or their family may not be involved due to living out of town.

“We want to show them that they are not forgotten and that our community cares about them,” said Tina Budde, coordinator. “Most do not drive, so we will be providing them with a basket of taxable items that food stamps cannot purchase.:

Budde said his would include laundry detergent, fabric softener, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, dish soap, shampoo/conditioner, bath soap, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste/denture cleaner. PIH will also be accepting gifts to provide them with things that they would not be able to buy for themselves due to their limited income. Monetary donations can be applied to help with the purchase of gift cards to Wal-Mart, Kroger and Meijer, to help offset click-list and delivery fees for groceries, and gifts. Donations can be as simple as an umbrella, hats, gloves, scarves, kitchen towels, puzzles books, puzzles, batteries, bath towels. Other ideas would be fans, heated blankets with auto shut-off, small coffee maker with auto shut-off, crockpot, CD player/radio, and foldable wheeled carts to walk to the grocery store.

“Larger donations of a vacuum or recliner could truly make someone’s Christmas special,” Budde said.

Partners In Hope will set up donated gifts in a store setting. Participating families will shop and select three gifts and a book for each of their children. As a way for the parents to give back to the community in exchange for receiving gifts from the shop, they are given a choice of volunteering two hours per child or making a monetary contribution of $10 per child. All the money is then donated back to local organizations chosen by the participating families. Last year, the participants voted to donate the money to First Place Food Pantry.

Donations of new toys (no clothing please), taxable items, gifts, as well as financial contributions, are needed. Visit partnersinhopeinc.org for the wish list. If you are a business and are willing to have a box placed at your site to collect new toys and gifts, contact Budde at 335-0448. Donations of Christmas wrapping paper and tape would also be appreciated. Financial contributions may be sent to the Partners In Hope office, 180 E. Race St., Troy. Mark “Christmas” on any monetary donations. Partners In Hope is a 501(c) 3 organization and gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Another way in which people can help is through volunteering, according to Budde. She said PIH will need shoppers (to help families pick out toys), gift wrappers, help with loading vehicles, help setting up and tearing down, and help sorting toys. To volunteer, call Budde at 335-0448. Anyone volunteering the night of the Christmas Shop must be at least 16 years old.

Applications from families will be accepted at the Partners In Hope office during regular walk-in hours: Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Sign-ups will take place through Nov. 27=. Families with children ages birth through 18 (if still in school) will be served. Parents must bring a photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate for each child, poof of Troy, Fletcher or Casstown residency, verification of all income and proof of custody if necessary. For more information, visit www.partnersinhopeinc.org.