For many of us, the holiday season overflows with joy and anticipation as we search high and low for the perfect gifts for family members, neighbors, coworkers and friends.
For some, like families living in J.T. Williams and Reid Park, Christmas may serve as a reminder to parents of what they are unable to provide their children. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center strives to fill that gap.
Throughout the year, the Dream Center serves Charlotte’s often-overlooked communities through programs such as Bible Study, job training, mentorship, Friday night street ministry, Sunday church services, and Adopt-A-Block. The mission of the Dream Center is to give hope to the hopeless, and Adopt-A-Block allows us to bring this mission to life by locking arms with families in need of a reminder of God’s truth of their potential.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center Toy Store enables parents to purchase new and like new Christmas gifts at largely discounted prices, having them wrapped on the spot, and delivered to their homes the same day.
The opportunity to purchase family gifts provides dignity and pride, as well as a sense of hope and excitement about Christmas morning. As one neighborhood mom, Tiffany, described, “It makes me feel like a proud mother.”
Providing for one’s children is a core element of the parent-child relationship. Unfortunately, poverty stresses this connection to the point of breaking. Rather than stepping in to take the parental role, we wish to meet the families where they are and ultimately fuel the relationship between parent and child.
In 2017, Reid Park hosted 31 volunteers and served 26 heads of households who provided gifts to 68 children! In J.T. Williams, 27 volunteers assisted 44 heads of households to choose gifts for 128 children!
Danielle, a mother of four, and a two-time shopper says, “It’s a joy to know that people in your community care about your having a nice Christmas on a budget.”
The Dream Center Toy Store is only made possible with the help of our community partners. Please consider joining us for the first time or as a repeat donor in showing parents, like Danielle, that Charlotte takes care of Charlotte.
How to get involved: Email firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest and if you are representing a larger group. We will survey the neighborhoods and send you a list of requested items. From there we will coordinate time and date of drop off. An online sign up will be created in December for those wanting to volunteer the day of.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you!