Delta Holiday Store Recap

by Element Christian Church

Christmas for Kids (CFK) was a program Element started a year after planting as a church in 2008. Christmas for Kids’ goal was to provide for families and kids in need in our community that may have fallen through the cracks and didn’t get support from other organizations and/or the government. We loved this ministry as each year we were able to provide two meals and take kids shopping for Christmas gifts for themselves.

When Element moved to our Bethany property, two things happened. First, we quickly realized how much of a need there is for the students who show up every day next door to Delta High School.  Secondly, the family who spearheaded CFK was no longer able to organize and run the program. While we felt called to bless the students next door, the first couple of years, as we were building trust with the faculty, we simply provided movie tickets as a way to wish the students Merry Christmas. This year, we partnered with one of the teachers who runs the HOPE club to put together a free Holiday Store for the students to be able to ‘shop till they dropped’ for either themselves or for family/friends.

It was an amazing week. Thank you so very much to all of you who helped donate items or serve the week of to make it happen.

Shawn, the teacher over the HOPE club, put together a Delta Holiday Store in 2015. They hosted it on campus and focused mainly on clothes. Here is a picture of what it looked like.

Original Delta Store in 2015

Shawn had a vision for expanding the store and having more resources for students and asked if we would be able to host it for them; which we were glad to do. The HOPE club actively helped all week: setting up and maintaining the store, greeting all students as they arrived and explaining the why and how the store worked, and they passed out “HOPE notes” (an encouragement letter) to each student. We expanded the store to include more household items such as toiletries, kid’s toys, baby items, Christmas décor, shoes, and so much more. We even had a coffee table that kids fought over. Here are some pictures of our gathering room the first day. 

Element Store 1 Element Store 2 Element Store 3 Element Store 4 

Element Store 5 Element Store 6 Element Store 7 Element Store 8 

Roughly 80% of everything went. The store opened and all students came on Tuesday and “shopped.” The rest of the week we opened it before and after school. Some teachers brought their entire classes over, where some brought individual students who needed more time.  It was great to hear excitement as students would say, “I got my little brother (sister, cousin, etc.) something this year, I have never been able to do that before!”

It was eye opening how much the students wanted/needed basic items such as toiletries (including toilet paper), towels and blankets. We couldn’t keep them in stock. We had several people offer to donate more and replenished these items several times, and always ran out.

Toiletries 1 Toiletries 2 Toiletries 4

Toiletries More! Towels More

We were also able to bless the students by offering a gift-wrapping station where they could wrap gifts they wanted to give. Many used this service and interacted with volunteers who wished them a Merry Christmas.

Gift Wrapping 1 Gift Wrapping 2

Lastly, we raffled off decorated Christmas trees, we had 8 in total, to those students who didn’t have a one this season. The kids who won were all very appreciative of the trees and were genuinely excited. One girl who one a tree actually gave it to a friend who she knew needed it more than she did. It was encouraging to see the student’s generosity grow from being part of the Delta Store. 

Tree Give Away - Kid Happy Decorated Trees 1 Decorated Trees 2 Decorated Trees 3

Tree Wrapping 1 Tree Wrapping 2 Tree Delivery

The students were appreciative and thanked Element several times. At this time our plan is to provide this store again, taking all we learned this year and applying it to next year’s store as there are always ways to improve.

For Element it is great to see the heart of our original Christmas for Kids continue even though it looks completely different now. In the end we were able to provide Christmas gifts to 300+ High School students, as well as give them the opportunity to give gifts to others, and we pray provided some hope for each of them.

It is called the HOPE club because the teachers and staff want to provide hope and encouragement to all students at Delta through giving and sacrifice. It’s our prayer that each and every student saw their needs being taken care of and come to know that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice as He gave His life for them – the ultimate gift. We look forward to continued relationship and ways to serve the students and staff at Delta. If you would like to get involved serving the High School, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(Note: We do not have permission to post pictures with students)