Families in need shop for their own presents - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Families in need shop for their own presents

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) - One local organization is making families in need pay for their Christmas presents. But it is actually a win-win for the families.

A local organization first heard about the concept from other states like Colorado and Florida, and decided to bring this great idea right here to New Albany.

"I'm usually depressed about every year. This just took about 1,000 lbs. off my chest," said Jill Craig, a New Albany resident.

Jill Craig said her three granddaughters, and even great-granddaughter, are going to have the best Christmas ever.

"And then I got the 8-year-old, I got her a computer where she can read and learn," she said. "It's a Barbie doll. It talks to you."

She said she has been able to buy these presents because of a newly launched program called Hope for Parents.

A shop was set up on Spring Street in New Albany through Clean Socks Hope, a local organization that ministers to the homeless and less fortunate.

"So the idea was open a Christmas store that had a lot of bargains that would serve the community and be as much about dignity as it is about providing hope," said Jeff Minton, with Clean Socks Hope.

So far, Minton said it is a success. Donations have been rolling in, including a bike that will make one lucky little girl extremely happy.

Everything in the store is 75 percent off retail. But it gets better. If a family cannot pay for the discounted items, they can work to earn credits, called "Hope Bucks."

"Everything from stocking the shelves, to pricing, to working with other families, to providing coffee, cider," Minton explained.

Minton said parents can have a hard time giving free gifts to their kids.

"We were pushing the primary caregivers away, thinking we're teaching the kids that Christmas comes to them through rich people," said Minton.

But Minton said this program is different.

"We do it not so much as a hand out but a hand up," he said.

For Jill Craig, it will change Christmas morning in a big way.

"This year, it's going to be totally different. They're going to enjoy it. They've got a big surprise coming," Craig laughed.

To nominate a family or to look at a list of donations that are needed, click here.

The money made from purchases goes back to families in need in the community.

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