Youre under employed, managing to find only 25-30 hours of work each week at slightly above minimum wage. Your wife baby sits and cleans three houses weekly while your four children are in school. Nothing interrupts the steady stream of rent notices and utility bills, or your need for gasoline, bus fare, clothing, school supplies and groceries. Last year before taxes, your family income totaled just under $14,000.00.
Christmas looms only six weeks away. Your youngest son, now almost six years old, announced his plans to you last night. He will ask Santa for the bike you know you cannot possibly provide. You didnt have the heart to tell him Santa wont come through. As you watched your boy bounce off to bed, anger, shame, disappointment, frustration and fear rose into your throat. What are your options?
So far this fall, over 400 men and women have turned to Central Dallas Ministries Community Service Corps in search of a positive answer to this important question.
Heres how our answer works: CDM matches men and women who need to earn extra money for Christmas with businesses, community age agencies, schools, nursing homes, churches and service organizations who need volunteer labor. CDM pays each Community Service Corps member $10.00 per hour in special Christmas Store Bucks for the service performed in these community venues. Then, in mid-December, we open a giant Christmas Store where Corps members shop, using their hard earned Christmas Bucks to purchase gifts for their children. Community and business groups, churches, Sunday School classes, civic clubs and interested individuals donate money, new toys and clothing to stock the store.
The results? A win, win, win solution for our community! Parents work hard at community building jobs for the gifts they buy, avoiding another embarrassing charity line in the process. Community organizations and businesses benefit from our super, enthusiastic labor force (Last year several of our volunteers found full time jobs as a result of their work performance!) Affluent community members who want to share generously during the holiday season can do so knowing their generosity does not perpetuate an unhealthy cycle of dependence. Our community draws closer together in the resulting partnership.
Last year, 109 families worked in the community to earn purchasing power to provide gifts for over 300 children. Not a single gift was given away. Every gift was purchased by honest, hard working parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. The dignity of every person was affirmed and protected.
Interested in helping us stock our wonderful Christmas Store this year? Give us a call today at 214-823-8710 ext. 20. We'll be glad to answer your questions and send you a packet of information.
Oh, and by the way, our store will have several terrific bikes for Santas shopping enjoyment!