MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Macon church is lending a helping hand for needy and less fortunate families this holiday season by opening their 6th annual Christmas store.
"It's hard enough during the year, but when Christmas comes, you want to bless your children and you have to decide whether to pay your power bill or buy gifts for your kids, it's really hard," Gail Metcalf, a staff pastor at Harvest Cathedral in Macon, said.
For the last 6 years, Metcalf has run the Christmas store at the church.
It was an idea she came up with after the church's congregation donated hundreds of toys and clothes that started to pile up.
"Next thing I knew, we had to have a place to put them, so we just started the Christmas Shop and it's worked really well," Metcalf said.
The store caters to needy families, particularly single moms.
Metcalf wanted to help them, knowing the experience first hand.
"My children were young when I came to this church. I was a single mom. They helped me. They literally loved me back to life, and we want to pass it on because it's difficult," she said.
What normally is a youth hangout is now filled with stuffed animals, toy cars, Barbie dolls, and clothes, and it's all for free.
"We have a lot of things they can find, all kinds of toys and books and gifts," Metcalf said.
While the kids are picking out toys around the Christmas store, moms can pick out ornaments for their Christmas tree.
After they're done shopping for their kids, moms can head to the other side of the church and find a few things for themselves in the woman's store.
It's filled with handbags, clothes, jewelry, and shoes.
Even the church's dog, Winston, lends a helping hand.
Metcalf is hoping to make a difference.
"We want to do what we can," she said.
The Christmas store at Harvest Cathedral is located at 2254 Rocky Creek Rd., Macon, GA.
The store is open to everyone in the community beginning Tuesday, December 17 from 9am-5pm and on Fridays from 9am-Noon.