Exeter Churches Present giveaway

Could you give up a few hours on the week before Christmas to help some of the poorest families in Exeter? 
Working with Exeter foodbank, the scheme is to help city parents get a £20 Christmas present for their children from Argos.

It would be great to get church leaders to help staff sessions, demonstrating a wonderful picture of churches working together to serve the poor.

We may need other volunteers from our congregations, but we wanted to start with church leaders, leadership teams and staff.
The project will happen at the Foodbank distribution sessions, everyday between Monday 17th and Friday 21st of December.

Sessions are at the Mint Methodist church between 11:45am and 4:30pm, except Friday’s, which is at The Beacon between 9:45am and 12:30pm.
Volunteers will welcome families, help them choose & then order the toys ‘click & collect’ on the Argos website.
Other helpers will collect the toys from the store.
If you’d like to get involved, you can sign up for a slot on the following website (choose a date, then click on a slot to sign up).
The Mint sessions are long so they’ve been split into two slots, but you can do the whole session by signing up to both.

https://slotted.co/exeterpresents

If you think this is worthwhile, please share with other leaders, staff, interns, etc. in your church?

The sessions are during the working day, so it is a great opportunity for those of us who get paid to do ministry to use some of our time for this.
More details are below and a pdf leaflet for printing is here Present giveaway.

The idea

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, joy and fun. For many people it isn’t… and for some families in Exeter it’s a struggle even to put food on the table.

We want to help bring a bit of Christmas joy to some of the city’s poorest families by helping parents buy a present for their kids.

We’re going to partner with Exeter Foodbank to allow us to identify families in real need. Parents will be able to choose a brand new gift from Argos, meaning they can get a present their child really wants!

How it will work

We’ll be setting up at the Foodbank distribution sessions during the week before Christmas (17th to 21st December). People are given Foodbank vouchers from referring agencies and these say how many children are in the household.

At the session, any Foodbank clients with a voucher that includes children can come to the volunteers from the participating churches. They can browse the Argos catalogue for a gift of up to £20 per child. If they have cash on them they can top up the amount.

One of our helpers will use the Argos website to ‘click and collect’ the gift from one of the three Argos stores in the city. Another helper will be dispatched to collect the toy (either on foot or by car, depending on the store) while the parents can have a cup of tea and a mince pie. Once the present arrives the parents can take it away or wrap it first at a wrapping station.

We’ll do a local press release to highlight the work of the Foodbank and the support it has from the church in Exeter.

Getting involved

We want churches to get involved by contributing money and volunteers.

It’s hard to know the financial cost, especially as the impact of Universal Credit is not yet known, but we’re working with a projected maximum budget of £2,500. We’re setting up an account with Argos and after Christmas we’ll get back to the churches with the final total and ask for contributions. Churches can give as they feel led.

There are daily distribution sessions between Monday 17th and Friday 21st December, all during office hours. We need a number of helpers on each session, including people who are able to drive and walk to Argos stores.

It would be great to get church leaders and staff helping, especially as we serve some of the city’s poorest families at Christmas.

For more information please contact Dave Vinall on dave@exe.vin or 07970 971044.

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