Community Christmas Store helps families in need during the holidays

The store allows families to shop for free

SALEM, Va. – The holiday season can be an especially hard time of year for families in need.

The Roanoke Valley Community Christmas Store plans to let them shop for free, something they’ve done for nearly 30 years.

“Our mission is to assist families that are needy. That could be due to income, they could be off, injured from work,” volunteer Shirley Lautenschlager said.

“The first year I volunteered as a hostess and then after that, I started doing the toddlers and infants,” Lautenschlager said.

The store accepts applications each year. This year, they are helping over 250 families.

“It’s very rewarding to see the happy faces on the families and how appreciative they are of the donations and what they get,” she said.

They give away new items for infants all the way to adults, and since everything is based on donations and volunteer work, they still need help.

“They will get one outfit. They’ll get socks or underwear, they’ll get socks, gloves, coats if we have them available,” she said. “We’re hoping this year that each child will get three toys, and then some stocking stuffers.”

Each family will also go home with food and personal care items.

The store’s goal is to help families in need shop with dignity.

“Knowing that you’re helping someone, like the children who wouldn’t have Christmas if it wasn’t for us, it makes us really happen to serve them,” Lautenschlager said.

For information on how to donate click here, and for information on how to volunteer click here.

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.