The Caring Place provided Christmas for over 1900 children this year, including children of Indiana National Guard members from all over the state. Won’t you help us again in 2012 by donating unwrapped toys to The Caring Place all year long. You can email us to find out how at
It is a Saturday, the 2nd one in December. For many people it is one of the last chances they have to get to the mall and finish their shopping. But for the staff and volunteers it is the day they bring hope and the message of Christmas to over 1,300 children.
For 13 years we have held The Caring Place Christmas Store. We have a site in Washington Square Mall that we turn into a winter wonderland store. Decorated beautifully and filled with brand new toys, games, jewelry, stuffed animals and so much more. All are brand new and waiting for a child to come through and select them.
It is called a store because there are prices on most everything, in the currency of The Caring Place known as Zoons. The children earn zoons every time they come to the Saturday Program. As they spend them in the store, they are “buying” for themselves, of course, but also for their loved ones. They come with their shopping lists and are so happy to “buy” mom the necklace or dad the cologne or mug. In this way they are learning about and experiencing the real joy of Christmas, the joy of giving. They are all excited about the leather basketball or doll they got for themselves but on Christmas morning when their loved opens the gift they bought for them, they experience a greater excitement.
The Christmas store brings hope in a very tangible way and also shows children the joy of bringing hope and love to others.