The store, which has become a much anticipated tradition that many area people wait for each year, has been a part of the Christmas season for over 10 years and features many area customers.
“We always have quite a few people who show up. We have a line that extends across the parking lot, said Marjorie Grieshop, director of the parish. “We take the customers in groups, and each group of people that are taken inside is given a certain amount of time to shop before we bring in the next group.”
Grieshop said each group of 10 or 15 people is given at least 15 minutes of shopping time, and the $2 donation that is expected from each customer is always put back into the toy store account to be used for the next year.
“We never know how many donations of toys we are going to receive each year, so that money is put in an account and held to be used to purchase toys in the event that we run short,” said Grieshop, noting that this helps to keep the toy store from running out of toys before all the customers have the opportunity to shop.
Grieshop added that the $2 donation usually allows a person to shop for at least four toys, which are new items and are ready to be wrapped.
“We have several places that donate toys to us each year,” said Grieshop. “It is wonderful how these places will pitch in to donate and help out with this.”
This year, the majority of the toy donations have been given by Ohio parishes including Holy Name, St. Catherines and St. Columban School, as well as Notre Dame.
With several volunteers from the church and parish helping each year with the store, Grieshop said not only does the store allow a wonderful opportunity for people to shop for their children’s gifts, but it also helps brings the community together in an effort to help each other.
The toy store is designed to help low-income families with being able to afford Christmas gifts for their children to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
The toy store will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the parish is asking that no one come on the church property until after 7 a.m.