Knicely Done: Abide Omaha’s Christmas Store Event
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Abide Omaha first staged its Christmas Store Event three years ago with the mission of giving parents in north Omaha a chance to pick out Christmas gifts for their children at no cost.
“There’s about 24,000 people that live in north Omaha,” said Abide staff member Chancy Sims. “We want to reach every one of them with a positive transformation of their lives and so we’re going to keep serving, one event, one neighbor at a time.”
Clearly, this year’s Christmas Store Event that took place last Saturday reached an abundance of neighbors. It was a drive-thru event because of COVID and traffic was so heavy, it backed up five blocks from the Abide headquarters near 45th and Bedford Ave.
“We have over 800 kids signed up today we have over probably 300 volunteers here so it’s been a huge blessing,” said Abide staff member Becca Lee. “It’s been a huge blessing — just the excitement, the joy that’s happening here.”
The outreach included hot chocolate and breakfast sandwiches for those who inched forward in the double line of cars.
Snow that fell the night before chilled the air but the greetings from volunteers all along the long car lines were warm.
Parents in each car were asked the ages of their kids and that information was relayed to volunteers inside the busy wrapping station who quickly sent the presents out the door with delivery volunteers.
“It’s fun for the volunteers to wrap for the families, and you know it makes it a surprise for the kids,” said Abide’s Twany Dotzler. “And it takes away from the work for Mom and Dad.”
“Dating back over 30 years, Abide has been just a part of the neighborhood, serving the neighborhood,” said Anthony Edwards of Abide. “We meet the needs, and honestly it’s not a new idea. Look at the life of Jesus, it was about serving and loving — so this season we’re just exercising those muscles with the community and filling needs and just sharing the joy of Christ.”
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