Duke Memorial UMC holds first Christmas Market for low-cost shopping

Dec. 12, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

Duke Memorial United Methodist Church has started a Christmas Market where parents can buy toys for their children at greatly reduced cost. The idea came from similar ministries in other cities, and the response has exceeded the church’s goals.
For the Christmas Market held this Saturday, the church gave out 200 shoppers’ passes so 75 to 100 families may shop for toys donated by the congregation of Duke Memorial UMC, its weekday school, Parents Morning Out and others. The church’s goal was 600 toys and they received 1,000. Shoppers will only pay about 25 percent of the cost of the new items, and gently used items will sell for $1.
Reynolds Chapman, minister of adult discipleship and witness at Duke Memorial UMC, said the church knew about all the other toy giveaways in Durham and wanted to contribute as well. Other ministries who host Christmas markets have shared that sometimes it can be difficult for families when the children receive gifts from someone else other than the parents, Chapman said. With the market, “parents can feel the joy of purchasing gifts themselves and giving them to their children.”
Shoppers were referred by local agencies that will receive all the proceeds from the market – Interfaith Hospitality Network, Habitat for Humanity and Urban Ministries of Durham. Since the Duke Memorial Christmas Market has been in the works, two more groups asked to participate and were also given shoppers’ passes – LATCH (Local Access To Coordinated Healthcare) and the Durham Exchange Clubs’ Family Center.
Chapman said the Christmas Market has been exciting so far and a great way to connect at the church and with local groups. On Friday, they’ll set up the market, ready for parents to shop on Saturday. The church plans to do this again next year, too. Duke Memorial UMC Christmas Market could still use a few volunteers. Sign up at http://dukememorial.org/christmas-market.