BY SHANNON DUFF
THE MINTO EXPRESS
PALMERSTON — Blessings to You Centre in Palmerston continues to reach out to the local community.
For the second year, the thrift store has opened the Christmas Village for the holiday season. This year, the Christmas Village is located on Main Street in Palmerston in the former Wylie Pharmacy location.
“Everyone is welcome to shop at the Blessings to You Centre and at the Christmas Village,” explained volunteer Mary Weber. “Last year was a huge success. We are very thankful to (The Prescription Shoppe owner) Sherif Hanna for making it possible for us to have this great location.”
Inside the Christmas Village, shoppers will find books, toys, home decor, Christmas decorations, clothing, accessories, housewares and more. All items have been donated. The centre is run by a group of about 30 volunteers — there are no paid staff.
Items are for sale by donation or by a reasonable price tag.
“Toys in the Christmas Village will be priced at reasonable rates,” explained Weber. “Shoppers will be limited to shopping in the toy section to one visit and to two gifts per child. Prices are suggested donations, but lower and higher donations are welcome based on the shopper’s ability to donate.”
These measures are in place to ensure the Christmas Village has enough toys to meet the need of the community.
Funds raised at the Christmas Village support the Palmerston, Harriston, Drayton and Listowel food banks, the Palmerston Public School snack program, the Palmerston and District Hospital fund and hydro/head support programs for less-fortunate families over the winter months.
The Christmas Village is open from Nov. 13 until Dec. 20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. Volunteers have been busy for several weeks preparing the Christmas Village for opening.
They are grateful to the 24 youth volunteers from Palmerston Christian Reformed Church who helped move boxes. The Christmas Village is an ideal place for high school students to earn their community hours, and it also provides hours for offenders.
Blessings to You Centre and the Christmas Village continue to help free of charge fire victims and those referred to the centre by local agencies.
Weber said they are thankful for their volunteers and a giving local community.
“A huge thank you goes to all our volunteers who are so willing to give of themselves,” she said. “We have been truly blessed by the support of our community.”