Columbia church finds way to make Christmas more affordable
COLUMBIA - Karis Church in northwest Columbia held its third annual Affordable Christmas event early Saturday morning.
This is the first time this event has been held in its new building. The event director, Charlee Zimmermann, said the church saw this as an opportunity to better impact the community.
"We were just really looking for an opportunity to really serve the community," she said.
The church sets up a store within the facility and marks all toys at 90 percent off. Parents then buy their children's Christmas presents for 10 percent of the retail price.
"We had heard of other churches within Missouri doing this program and we saw the success they had and just the impact it had on their community," Zimmermann said.
She also said the church does the event this way so the parents still have the pride and empowerment of buying their children's Christmas toys.
"Were not just giving the gifts to them. They're actually coming in and purchasing them," she said.
Most of the presents are donated by local businesses. The church had a large surplus of toys which it will use for the event next year.
Zimmermann said the best thing about this event is seeing all of the people they are able to help.
"One of the most fun things for me is just being able to walk through and see all of the families. See all of the fun toys that they are getting and seeing how excited they are," she said.
The church will continue to run this event next year.