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Neighborhood Christian toy store opens Wednesday

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily· 340-2437

Perhaps nothing brightens the eyes of children on Christmas Day more than a toy.

Some families need help getting gifts for their children, and that’s why generous people donate money and toys to the Neighborhood Christian Center each year.

The center on Bank Street Northeast will open its toy store Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Pam Bolding, who is co-director with her husband, Tim.

“The store gives them an opportunity to come in and get toys that they can wrap for their children,” she said.

Bolding said 73 families registered their children for toys. The number represents 173 children.

The center received applications in October and November for the toy store.

The store has a variety of toys for children up to age 16 and some for 17-year-olds, Bolding said.

She shared stories of children who brought donations to the center.

“Two brothers came in and their grandparents had given them money to spend on someone else,” Bolding said. “The younger brother used his money to buy a razor bumper buggie for someone. The other brother bought 50 New Testament Bibles to give to kids who come to the toy store.

“There was another child who had a birthday party, and instead of his friends bringing gifts, he asked them to bring canned goods for the center’s pantry. You wouldn’t believe the children who come and give so that others can have a good Christmas.”

She said organizations and people look for those to help who have specific needs.

“We have a Sunday school class sponsoring a mother and her three children,” Bolding said. “The mother recently moved into an apartment and they’ve gone beyond the wish list. They’re supplying furniture for the apartment and they established an account to help with rent and utilities until the mother can get back on her feet.”

In addition to toys, the center gave Christmas food boxes to families.

“They included meat and other items for a holiday meal,” said Bolding.

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