Providing barbecue meals for displaced residents and emergency personnel is one small way to temporarily soothe the harsh realities of immense recovery efforts.
This gift donation project began in 2013 when a team of fifth grade kids, led by Ethan Lange, talked about their love of getting and giving gifts around the holidays — and how many children in their community weren't able to participate due to financial constraints and hardships.
The seed of this idea grew into the annual "Gift of Giving," with the nonprofit Kids Helping Kids (KHK) collecting thousands of gently used and new gifts so underserved kids could shop for their loved ones.
In the beginning of December, KHK begins sorting and organizing the gifts at their collection site, The Salvation Army, and sets up the pop-up store. Open to the public, the holiday shopping mall is free of charge — KHK just asks that all guests make "Caring Cards" for children in local hospitals.
None of the gifts people shop for at this store can be for themselves — it must be for a family member, friend, or loved one.
Santa Claus also takes the time to attend every year, while every table is filled with toys, games, household items, jewelry, accessories, clothing, books, and more. The event stays extra festive with gift wrapping stations and holiday cookie decorating.
Just last year, KHK collected 10,000 new and gently used gifts and served 675 kids and parents. This year, more than 1,000 kids went home with beautifully wrapped gifts, ready for the holidays.
The mission of Kids Helping Kids is to develop leadership skills through youth–led service projects.Learn More
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