Annual Christmas store gives children a chance to shop for others; goal is to spread the importance of giving

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you’ve ever given someone else a gift, you know the feeling of giving is special. The Caring Place church and more than a dozen agencies are excited for 1,400 children on the east side to share that feeling on Saturday.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m., buses will bring children to the Caring Place Christmas Store so they can “buy” gifts for their family members.

“We wanted them to be able to understand that Christmas is about giving,” Pastor Chad Temple said. “That it was when Christ was given by the Father for us and we want to be able to give.”

Before the doors open Saturday, a lot of volunteer prep work happens. Volunteers from local schools and even national store chains stepped in to help. Dakota Chapman, 5, spoke with FOX59 while she stocked the shelves with her mom.

“My favorite part is when everybody gets to get a toy for Christmas,” Chapman said.

The gifts, like toys and home decor, are purchased through points the children earn either through programming at the Caring Place or with the other agencies. The more time spent, the more points.

“They’re excited about something that they did for somebody else,” Temple said. “That makes us feel good.”

The Caring Place works year-round with the children around E. 42nd Street to set them up for success.

“We are trying to teach them positive things,” Temple said. “So much of the garbage in our communities, our kids feed on that all the time. We just want to come in and give them a different thing.”

Temple said the church raises tens of thousands of dollars to organize the annual Caring Place Christmas Store, just as they have for over 20 years.

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