Union Mission to host Pride for Parents Toy Store, addresses toxic charity
The New Life Union Mission will be operating a Pride for Parents Christmas Toy Store based on the simple belief that families would prefer to provide for their children at Christmas rather than receive a handout. Even if a family has limited means to do so, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents want to buy gifts for the children in their family during the holiday season. A Pride for Parents Toy Store is designed to provide families in our community, with limited financial resources, an opportunity to shop for their children at a greatly reduced cost.
Mission members have been discussing and praying about moving this approach for a few years since visiting the Focused Community Strategies group in South Atlanta that has lived and helped people in different inner-city neighborhoods of Atlanta for over 30 years.
The group was founded by Bob Lupton, author of “Toxic Charity.”
Toxic charity occurs when others ‘do for the poor what they have (or could have) the capacity to do for themselves’. Providing everything for people robs them of the opportunity to feel positive about providing for themselves. It also encourages people to remain dependent on others.
Applications with requirements to participate can be picked up and submitted from Nov. 13-Dec. 5. The toy store will be set up in the gym of the New Life Union Mission, located at the Dyersburg campus during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Dates and times will be given to those approved to participate. Instead of charging an upfront participation fee as in years past, families served throughout the year are able to shop and buy up to four toys their kid(s) really want, plus stocking stuffers, at a cost of 30-40-percent of what you would normally pay for that toy from a store.
Gift cards for teenagers are priced at 50-percent of the list price. Parents will be able to experience the same sense of pride others feel when they are able to provide for their families
Parents who do not have any financial resources will be able to request an opportunity to do meaningful volunteer work ahead of time at the Union Mission to receive a gift voucher to exchange for the toys they purchase.
All money donated or spent on toys will remain in the program to purchase new toys and keep the shelves stocked.
Last year, we provided for 132 households and 264 children spending almost $10,000 purchasing new toys, not counting the new toys that were donated. As you can see, it will take a lot of extra money to offset the difference between what the toys cost and what the parents actually pay.
This Christmas will you please give and support this program to make a child’s Christmas brighter, and help restore pride to the parents involved? You can donate money or new toys. You can also volunteer to work in the toy store. Questions? Call 731.285.0726 Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.