Monday, November 4, 2013

2nd Annual Christmas Shoppe is getting closer!!

     Urban Family Ministries will host a 2nd Annual “Christmas Shoppe” with a very intentional mission. We want to “Give the Gift of Dignity”. Many of the families served through Urban Family Ministries have become accustomed to the “Adopt a family” world. While the intentions are noble, for our families, it enhances dependency and entitlement. The receiving families receive gifts at Christmas time from complete strangers. In this case, the families offer no initiative, no effort or sacrifice to purchase the gifts for their own children.  Usually, they don't even have to wrap the gifts because the generous people who purchased the gifts take the time to wrap and tag the gifts even.
Last year store items
     To empower our families, we have ended our “Adopt a family” program and started a Christmas Shoppe. This store is set up completely with donations by people who want to give gifts to a family in need at Christmas. These new items, which have been purchased and dropped off at the Urban Family Ministries office, will then be priced much lower and purchased by families involved in our programs.
     The pricing of items range from 10-15% of the ORIGINAL/STICKER price on each item (i.e – a $10 Candyland board game would be marked at $1.00 for our families to purchase.) Our families will come to the store at selected times, shop and even be rung up on a real cash register. Once items have been purchased with their own money, they have an opportunity to wrap and tag the gifts in the office before taking them home. Comments we heard last year sounded like this….
“Are you doing the store next year again? Now that I know what you have, I’m going to save more money for next year’s store!” - single mom of 5
“I did not have enough money to shop at the stores. I was able to shop with a small amount of money in the Christmas Shoppe. It made me feel good to shop, buy things for my kids, wrap them and then have gifts under the tree for them on Christmas.” - a single mom of 3
“The store was a tremendous blessing to my family. I wasn’t going to be able to buy gifts this year for my kids but you helped make it possible!” - single mom of 3
Last year's store items
     Our families want to be able to purchase gifts for their children with their own money, just like everyone else does. Their ability do this will begin to erode the dependency and entitlement so many of them don’t realize entraps them. They want to be able to enjoy watching their children open up gifts on Christmas morning with great anticipation over something they sacrificed for, but going shopping in the “general” sense of the word isn’t possible on their income. This store allows our families to have some pride when their children open their gift on Christmas morning.  The parents will ensure better care for the gifts given when it is their money purchasing the items. It allows our families to experience the same emotions as other parents when they watch their child open a gift they worked hard to purchase.

Our teens helped with pricing and set up.
The result of the change from Adopt a family to Christmas Shoppe will:

  1. Bring about restoration of dignity to our families by their purchasing their own gifts.
  2. Begin to destroy the cycle of dependency and entitlement.
  3. Allow all proceeds to be reinvested in UFM programs that equip and strengthen these and other families in our community.
If you would like to help with this store, you can:

  1. Purchase new items from the list below.
  2. Return them to the Urban Family Ministries office by December 4th.
  3. Sign up to help families shop at the store between December 16-20th.  Help them shop, wrap and be in community with our families.

Any questions, please call Peggy at the Urban Family Ministries office (616-365-9009) or email her at


* Winter hats (adults)
* Gloves (adults)
* Coats (kids and teens winter coats, adult fleece zip jackets)
* Boots (kids and teens)
* Snow pants (kids and teens)
* Packs of Underwear (kids and adults)
* Socks (kids and adults)
Customers to our first store.
* Slippers (kids and adults)
* PJ’s (kids and teens)

Toys & Hobbies
* Art sets
* Craft kits
* Tech Deck toys
* Remote Control vehicles
* Baby Dolls (please consider purchasing multi-cultural dolls to closer resemble our families)
* Handheld electronic games
* DVD movies (family and animated)
* Skateboards and Rip sticks
* Scooters
* Board games-family based (Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders, Don’t Break the Ice, Monopoly, Life, Checkers)

* Pans
* Dishes (settings of 4)
* Glass sets
* Mixing Bowls
What a bargain! 
* Utensils
* Paper Towels
* Toilet Paper
* Laundry Supplies (detergent, baskets, fabric softener)
* Tools (basic household sets)
* Nail Polish and Make up
* Bath towels
* Cleaning Supplies
* Pillows
* Twin Sheet sets
* Backpacks
* 10 Ride Bus Passes
* Candles
* Hair accessories
* Jewelry

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