It is hard to believe that November is dwindling down and December is upon us. Before we know it we will leave 2012 behind and begin a new year that promises to be another fun and exciting year in Columbus. But not so fast! Let’s not forget about the most spirited and wonderful holiday season of the year! Although as the gift giving season approaches there are many children and parents in Columbus wondering if gifts will beneath their tree come Christmas morning. As unfortunate as these circumstances are, the Columbus community is fortunate enough to have neighbors working relentlessly to prevent these parents worries from becoming a reality. The United Methodist Church for All People is one organization that aims to make a difference this holiday season. And by their side, E.E. Ward is there to lend a hand.
For 13+ years the United Methodist Church has organized a community involvement program to help provide underprivileged children receive gifts in their “Christmas Shop” program. This decade long program is a unique gift giving program that serves to provide around 500 children annually. The day long event provides residents with a wide ranging assortment of new toys and clothing valued around $ 2 million dollars. What makes this program special is the “Shop” portion of the event. A few miles southeast of downtown Columbus thousands of gifts will be strategically placed inside of the United Methodist Church on Parsons Avenue. Here, organizers create a retail shopping environment where registered parents can come and “shop” for gifts. The only catch…everything is free! Each parent has the opportunity to hand pick approximately $50-75 worth of retail valued items to wrap and give to their child. Thus, the gifts will be picked based on what a parent believes will be best suited for his/her child. In addition, as event organizer Dave Cofer describes, the setup allows for the parents to share in the enjoyment knowing that they handpicked the gift that makes their child smile.
This year, however, Dave and others at the United Methodist Church faced a hurdle absent from previous years. The Church is currently undergoing renovations that further limit space to safely store the donated items leading up to the “Christmas Shop”, which will take place on December 22nd. That is where E.E. Ward felt it necessary to step in to ensure that this wonderful program continues to function as it should. E.E. Ward donated a PACK-RAT unit to alleviate the concerns of storage space and to ensure the program success. Dave said that the storage concerns set organizers “scrambling” and the donation is a “huge help.” Now, all focus can be set on filling the “shop” and once again delivering on its mission to help the Columbus community.
When asked the purpose of the event was Dave responded simply, “Make Christmas possible.” That resonating message is certainly one that E.E. Ward is more than willing to help deliver.