Posted: Dec 4, 2013 8:50 PM by Meg McLeod, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Dec 4, 2013 11:04 PM
COLUMBIA - A nonprofit hopes it can put a few more presents under some families' Christmas trees this year.
CoMo Cares opened its first commercial store this morning after nearly a year and a half in business. The organization aims to provide low-cost essentials for families with children younger than five years old. Sabrina Lambrecht, executive director for CoMo Cares, said she received a great response from customers today.
"They were very excited about it. They said they were going to come back and buy their kids' Christmas gifts. So, they're very excited about the accessibility of it."
CoMo Cares' Facebook page also received positive comments.
Lambrecht said accessibility is key. CoMo Cares gives ten percent off to families affiliated with Boone County's Women, Infants and Children Program or assisted by food stamps. However, families in more need can also receive vouchers at the store from Voluntary Action Center, Parents as Teachers and Love Inc. Lambrecht said she was happy to provide for all types of families in need today, "We actually did both things today. We were able to sell some stuff and give some stuff away."
CoMo Cares received both donations and more than $100 in sales. Lambrecht hopes these items not only impact the children receiving them, but their parents as well.
"I think it's going to make parents feel a lot better about being parents because, as a mom, if you can't provide for your child the basic necessities, or you don't have a present for them under the Christmas tree. Then, they feel guilty and they don't feel like they're being the best mom they can be. So, when they can come in here and they can buy a truck for $3 or $6 instead of $15 at the store, then they feel better about themselves. They're excited about it and they're excited they can provide for their kids."
The new store at 1301 Vandiver Drive boasts clothes, shoes, toys, books and other necessities for young families. However, CoMo Cares is still in need of batteries, diapers and monetary donations to supplement wipes and the diaper bank. All donations can be dropped off at the new facility during store hours.
Lambrecht hopes to outgrow the CoMo Cares' current space over the next few years.
CoMo Cares will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at its store Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon.