Christmas came early for the moms of Hope House Colorado. The Arvada-based nonprofit for teen moms held its 5th Annual Christmas Shop at their Benton Street headquarters on Dec. 11, providing an …
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Christmas came early for the moms of Hope House Colorado. The Arvada-based nonprofit for teen moms held its 5th Annual Christmas Shop at their Benton Street headquarters on Dec. 11, providing an opportunity for moms to exchange points earned throughout the year for Christmas presents.
Hope House awards `Christmas Points’ to moms for completing self-sufficiency tasks and goals, such as obtaining a driver’s license, walking in Hope House’s GED graduation ceremony, enrolling a child in childcare or speaking at a Hope House event.
At the Christmas Shop, points accumulated over the course of the year can be exchanged for gifts donated by supporters of the nonprofit, allowing under-privileged moms to provide a full assortment of presents under the tree on Christmas morning.
“Most of our moms come from poverty. They can’t afford to do Christmas shopping themselves. This takes the stress off for them to give the Christmas they would want for their kids,” said Hope House Director of Partnerships Jenny Macias.
Macias said that in the past, the Christmas Shop used a wish list-and-adoption model, where donors would `adopt’ a mom and buy items from the mom’s wish list. Macias said that the previous model created some inequity due to differences in donor contributions and attendance by moms at events throughout the year.
“What we saw happen was, one; it’s less empowering because it’s a handout, but two; we may have had a mom who worked her butt off all year and may have got a donor who only got them like, one or two things. And then we have a mom who only came to one class the entire year and someone spent $1,000 on her,” Macias said.
Toys of all varieties, books, stocking stuffers and other holiday goodies were available for the 107 moms to choose from. Over 100 volunteers came to help run the shop and help with wrapping presents.
Macias said the Christmas Shop takes the stress off of holiday shopping and promotes working towards self-sufficiency.
“(In the past) our moms would dread Christmas. Now they can feel proud of buying things for their kid with their hard-earned work. We use it as an incentive to help them work towards self-sufficiency,” Macias said.
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