Givers choose from online lists to help ministries

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A parent looks over the selection of Lego sets at the Renewal Christmas Store in 2021. The annual shopping experience is stocked by donations from volunteers. An online wish list offers ideas and ease for donors who prefer to shop digitally.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

Mike Wilkins has contemplated how to buy board games in bulk.

Renewal Neighborhood Ministry has asked for gifts, including nearly 200 board games, as it plans the annual Renewal Christmas Store.

It’s relying on generous shoppers, both in person and online, to help stock the tables. Renewal is one of several local ministries using itemized online lists for Christmas outreaches, making sending presents as close as one’s smartphone or other device.

Renewal Neighborhood Ministry offers after-school tutoring and other community-building supports in the 42nd Street and Post Road area of Indianapolis. Volunteers from a church there, Crossroads Bible Church, and from Outlook Christian Church in McCordsville have been engaged in Renewal’s creation and journey. The Christmas store is set up in a building on the Crossroads campus.

Mercy Road Church Northeast in Fortville is also offering gifts and volunteers for the store.

At the annual store, Renewal invites families it has ministered to to shop for Christmas gifts for their children. Parents pay $5 per child to shop at the one-day store, with a cap of $25 per family.

Volunteers serve as personal shoppers and guide parents through the store, where parents can choose several presents, a board game, and hats and gloves for each child. Volunteers also direct parking, wrap the gifts, serve cookies and offer to pray for prayer requests. Parents fill out the gift tags ahead of presenting the gifts to their children on Christmas morning.

An Amazon wish list, accessible through a link at https://www.renewalindy.org/christmas-store, allows online shoppers to select Lego Star Wars sets, baby dolls, string lights and other gifts to fill the store. The greatest need is gifts for teens, such as handheld electronic games, small drones, personal care items and throw blankets. Store organizers are gathering items by Sunday so there’s time to organize and arrange them for the store hours. There are also boxes at Outlook Christian and Mercy Road Northeast.

There are other opportunities to select and send a gift online to support local Christmas outreaches and day-to-day ministry.

Love INC

Love INC (In the Name of Christ) of Greater Hancock County welcomes purchases of Bibles, devotional books and other items on its Amazon wish list and its Walmart Spark Good list, with both links available at https://loveinc-ghc.org/.

“Donations made through our Wish List help us better serve our Neighbors,” Executive Director Debra Weber wrote in an email. “By receiving donations from the list, we can provide new Bibles and kitchen items and fulfill other needs that might be otherwise difficult to resource. We feel very blessed by our supportive community!”

Day of Love and Caring

God’s Open Arms’ annual Day of Love and Caring is coming up Dec. 24, offering a meal and gifts to families who might otherwise struggle to have a Christmas celebration. Ministry leaders say they served 515 meals at last year’s event and provided Christmas gifts for more than 220 families. They estimate nearly 800 children attended the 2022 event.

Local churches help gather gifts for the families. Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church has a box where items may be dropped off up to Dec. 22. Meanwhile, Park Chapel Christian Church has a giving tree with needed items listed; there’s also a digital version in the form of an Amazon wish list at https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/ARBTC4GZE9K?ref_=wl_share. There, shoppers can choose from sports balls, action figures, board games, baby toys and other items.

The Comfort House

A renovated former parsonage offers transitional housing for families displaced from their home by fire or other disaster. A wish list with link accessible at www.mtcomfortchurch.com/the-comfort-house allows donors to give household items to stock the residence, located on Mt. Comfort Church’s Philadelphia Campus on U.S. 40.

Ethan Maple, the church’s lead pastor, said the list helps avoid duplicate items and was created “so that our community could ‘help make the house a home’ by donating items from board games to silverware, from trash cans to tooth brush holders, and from towels to cellphone chargers. …

“It has been a safe and familiar way for people to donate and get involved, even from as far away as Florida. We keep the list updated based on our current needs for the house.”

Hope Center Indy

Those giving from this list can buy a Bible for a resident, a bean bag chair for a prayer room, a cart for the center’s David Nolen Pantry of Hope, or cleaning products or other supplies useful at the center west of New Palestine. It serves women overcoming sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and addictions, according to its website. Find a link to the list at www.hopecenterindy.org/getinvolved.

Hope House

The homeless shelter in Greenfield posts a list of needed supplies on its site, hancockhopehouse.org. Students at New Palestine High School are also giving items through boxes at school and through an online wish list at nphsclasscup.com. Select “NP Giving Trees Info” and then scroll down to Option Two to find a link to the Amazon list.

Life Choices Care Center

The center has a wish list of baby blankets, toddler clothes, diaper rash cream and more to support the center in Greenfield, which offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and information. Find a link to the list at https://lifechoicescarecenter.org/donate.

World Renewal

World Renewal, with headquarters east of Greenfield, works with mission partners in more than 60 countries. Those who go to worldrenewal.org and select “Give,” then “Choose a need,” can help pay for sewing machines to help women in India learn a trade, buy Bibles for people in Mozambique, and more.