Green Lake Gives the Gift of Christmas
Families at the Green Lake Church in Seattle have found a positive way to share Christmas with families in the community.
Five years ago, the church started a Christmas store where in-need families, selected by community organizations, came to a Christmas party to "shop" for presents for the whole family, interact with church volunteers, and leave the party with all their Christmas presents wrapped. The store is designed to allow low-income families to shop for Christmas without money.
Green Lake works with three elementary schools, the Boys and Girls Club and the Senior Housing Authority to minister specifically to children and senior citizens.
More than 70 youth and adult church volunteers set up and run the Christmas store, including wrapping the gifts. The passion and commitment of volunteers grows each year as they help and befriend community families, say ministry leaders.
Besides holiday shopping, guests could go to a craft or game table, celebrate with festive music or have a holiday snack.
"I really felt comfortable here," says one guest. "Everyone was really kind."
The Green Lake Church was able to share 350 gifts with 39 children and eight senior citizens from the community, including sharing 60 wrapped packages with the Ronald McDonald House adjacent from the Children's Hospital.