The Community House of Moorestown will hold its fifth annual children’s holiday shop on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2.
The tradition enables children to choose their own holiday gifts for family and friends with the help of volunteers while parents mingle. The shop will run from 3 to 4 p.m. for special- needs students on Dec. 1, and general admission will be from 4 to 8 p.m. General admission for the following day will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We have volunteers that are fabulous from our high school that dress up as elves and they help the students and children if they want help … and (they) go around the entire shop and help them pick out gifts for their family, friends, teachers, etc.,” said Community House board of trustees member Sheree Lantz.
The facility will also collect stuffed animals for the nonprofit Project Night Night, whose mission is to provide free packages to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need childhood essentials for security and increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during a time of upheaval.
“We also will have a bracelet station set up and kids can pick out a custom, inexpensive bracelet …” Lantz noted. “It’s been explained to me that these bracelets are the fad of Taylor Swift (volunteer Gigi Doloisio will be running the bracelet station).”
According to the Community House website, the children’s holiday shop offers inexpensive items that typically range in price from 50 cents to $5. Since it started in 2017, the shop has been a huge hit, specifically with the student volunteers.
“Our volunteer sheet, when we sent it out, was completely filled within one hour,” Lantz noted. “That’s how much the volunteers love to do this and work with the kids at the community house. The whole thing is just so cute.”
There’s much to choose from at the shop, including sports memorabilia, tool kits, makeup and jewelry. Lantz reiterated how special it is to see student volunteers help the kids.
“Sometimes they even bend down on one knee to be able to look the students eye to eye and say, ‘Okay what is your budget?’ and they write that down …” she explained. “Then they take the individual person around and they begin their shopping.”
The Community House will hold its tree lighting and holiday celebration on the front lawn at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Festivities will include music, cookies donated by Wegmans, hot cocoa donated by Brandywine Senior Living and an appearance by Santa. Meteorologist Kathy Orr will emcee the event live on FOX 29, weather permitting.
“Cheer, holiday spirit and goodwill,” Lantz said of what she hopes the event offers the community. “We really just want it to be, especially in this time that we’re facing within the world, to come together as a whole.
“We have a lot to be thankful for, and we just want to come together and be thankful as a community.”
For more on the Community House, visit https://thecommunityhouse.com.