The Christmas season is always a busy time for Graffiti 2. The following is a breakdown of each event.
His Toy Store
This was our first year to do His Toy Store. His Toy Store is organized and provided by Hope For New York. Hope For New York mobilizes volunteers from the city and sends them to partner ministries. His Toy Store is a toy store that is intentionally hosted in neighborhoods that are poverty stricken. The purpose of the store is to provide a need (parents can buy Christmas presents for their children) and connect them to a local church in the neighborhood. Graffiti 2 partnered with our neighbors, A House on Beekman, to provide a toy sale for the community. Since Graffiti 2 has other outreaches for our families in program, we decided to give invitations to the store to people outside our ministry. Each organization distributed 50 tickets. Saturday, December 8th, families came to shop. While parents shopped, there was a birthday party for Jesus happening with their kids. We ask for a $1 donation per toy, but will gladly give them for free if a family is unable to pay. They leave with their gifts wrapped and labeled, ready to put under the tree. We were blessed to have all the toys and volunteers provided by Hope For New York.
In recent years, we’ve changed the way we distribute gifts to the kids and families in after school program. This year we changed it in an even bigger way! Instead of purchasing gifts for the kids, we decided to try and empower the parents by providing a $25 gift card per child to Toys R Us so the parent could pick out their own gift for their children. In addition to this, we gave each family a box of sweets, a pair of gloves and a hat. We took all of the gifts straight to their door with the help of our church members, and invited them to join us the following Sunday for a special Christmas service and fellowship lunch.
This year we partnered with Betances Community Center again for our Christmas Celebration. We invited those enrolled in their after school program and their families to attend along with our families. There were over 100 families that were invited to attend. We received shoebox gifts from churches and groups across the country to distribute at the event. We had a group of teenagers perform “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and Andrew presented the Gospel. Visit our facebook page to see a video of the performance.
Thank you to all who contributed to our efforts this Christmas. Many sent shoeboxes, money, and hats/gloves.