This is the before view of the annual discount toy store hosted by The Well in Curtis Bay. As part of the Christmas season, we served there as a family this past Saturday. I've been continually impressed by Mandy and her team at The Well - they've hosted two service experiences for us so far, and Saturday's toy store was no exception.
If you've read either Toxic Charity or When Helping Hurts but need to see it in real life, The Well has lots of good examples. The toy store is a textbook example - it is a discount store, people don't get the toys for free. They register their information, which includes their children and ages, pay for the toys, get assigned a personal shopper and go shopping. Once they have their toys, they get them gift wrapped. It's an annual tradition eight years running now and this year, when we got there 2 hours before it opened, there were already 15 people in line. They also have a small set of people that help out with preschool to middle school kids in case parents don't want to shop with them.
Lots of different church teams were there too to help out and I loved meeting some of those leaders - these are the like-minded people you want to hang with. My favorite part of the day was walking around the neighborhood with a local pastor - that story is for another day.