The annual Christmas Store was held December 9, 2017. Both Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream and Puente del Pueblo hold annual Christmas Stores, open to the families living in the neighborhoods served by each resource center. The Christmas Store allows qualifying families to purchase gifts for their children at a savings of 75% off retail price. This is a win-win! Purchasing affordable presents honors parents and grandparents, while proceeds from the Store are designated to the site’s case management services, helping local families throughout the year who need financial assistance.

Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream

SHOPPERS

This year, 376 families shopped for 933 local children. Families without monies to shop at the time of the Store meet with an OCC Case Manager to determine if a voucher is warranted.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

The Christmas Store is made possible by the generous support of our community partners, the dedication of our volunteers, gift drives by area organizations and financial support of sponsors and individuals.

VOLUNTEERS
425 people selflessly volunteered in 2017. Volunteer work begins months before the Store. Roles include check-in, translators, drivers, child care, helping shoppers, wrapping gifts, stockers and more.

STORIES FROM THE STORE

Shoppers are surveyed about their experience as they wait for their wrapped gifts to be delivered. We asked what their favorite thing about the Christmas Store is, and here’s a sampling of the shoppers’ responses:

  • “I can select the gifts for my children.”
  • “The many options for gifts to choose from.”
  • “There are translators for Spanish speakers!”
  • “The prices are reasonable and people can afford the gifts.”
  • “Friendly people who served us.”
  • “Everyone was so kind, thank you for allowing me to give my daughter some Christmas presents.”
  • “The cheerful people and helpers because I was really down this year.”

376 families served

933 children served

425 volunteers

Puente del Pueblo

SHOPPERS

This year, 174 families came to shop, serving 495 children.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

The Christmas Store is made possible by the generous support of our community partners, the dedication of our volunteers, gift drives by area organizations and financial support of sponsors and individuals.

VOLUNTEERS
255 people selflessly volunteered. Volunteer work begins months before the Store. Roles include check-in, translators, drivers, child care, helping shoppers, wrapping gifts, stockers and more.

STORIES FROM THE STORE

Alicia*

Alicia* has three children, including her youngesta newborn baby less than a month old! This is Alicia’s first year shopping at the store, and she was grateful to find a few of the things her older kids had mentioned on their wish list.

Alicia is especially grateful for help this Christmas, as her pregnancy was complicated and her doctor decided it was too dangerous to continue working through her final trimester of pregnancy. Because of this unexpected time off, money is tight, and Alicia has already used up her maternity leave. She is due back to work the day after Christmas. She says, “I heard about this store, but my experience has exceeded my expectations. Thank you for the help this year.”
*name changed

Lupe

Lupe lives in Main Park apartments. She was excited about her experience at the store this year because her seven-year old daughter was hoping for a bicycle … and she found one! Not only was it exactly the size her daughter needed, it was pinkexactly what she had hoped for. Lupe also found Shopkins toys at the store today, which her five-year-old loves but are not affordable elsewhere.

This was a significant help for Lupe, who is a single mom and has had a particularly stressful several months. When she scheduled her appointment, she was disappointed to realize there were no spots left before 10:30am. Based on her experience with holiday charity, she assumed this meant the best items would be taken. But Puente’s Christmas store volunteers intentionally sort gifts so shoppers at any appointment time have an equitable selection. This was a meaningful surprise for Lupe. Lupe was able to purchase just what her children wanted; she is excited and grateful.

Brian

Brian is a student at COD, works full time and serves regularly in the Iglesia del Pueblo worship team. He has a full schedule (and had trouble getting the day off) but Brian is committed to being at the store for both shifts as the shopper coordinator. He makes sure the gifts are ready, everything looks good and that things are running on schedule. This is Brian’s fourth year volunteering.

Brian is excited to see the Store improve each year, including more volunteers, more families and gifts more suitable to the shopper’s wish-lists. Brian specifically loves the fact that volunteers who started out as young kids running around while their parents worked are now taking on a role of their own. He loves to see the young people chipping in on this important community day.

174 families served

495 children served

255 volunteers