Christmas For Everyone


The ability to purchase gifts for our kids is something most of us take for granted, but it’s something many local families can’t afford. This holiday season, join others at Bethel’s toy store event, Christmas for Everyone. You can be a part of bringing hope and dignity to impoverished families. Sign up to be a part of Bethel’s largest annual serving experience. Can’t serve that day? Consider donating toys and other essentials using the donations boxes at the Richland campus.

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How do you find families for your Christmas outreach program? We do not accept “walk-ins” for our Christmas outreach. Families are referred to our program from a variety of sources in the Tri-Cities, but mainly families come through school counselors, social workers, teachers, and nonprofit agency workers. We want referrals to come from those who work/interact on a regular basis with these families. In 2023, we have families coming via 19 different agencies/schools.

Is anyone else in the Tri Cities doing this type of Christmas outreach? YES! The Boys and Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties started this type of outreach in 2015. We know a few other churches in our area who are doing this as well. We also know of many churches in the Midwest who have been effectively following this outreach model for over 25 years!

How much will the gifts cost for the family? 25 cents per gift, which is at a 99% reduced rate.

How many gifts can the family purchase? 3-4 gifts per child (this depends on the amount of gifts donated). Additionally, each family will receive several free items: blankets, hats and gloves, laundry detergent, a grocery gift card, and hygiene items.

Why are you doing this program? Shouldn’t we just give gifts for free to those in need? Our program guidelines are listed below. As you can read, we want to shift the focus of our program from the givers to the receivers. It’s honoring and empowering for a parent to tell a child on Christmas morning: “I picked out, purchased and wrapped these gifts for you!” Many of us have never been in a position where we’ve had to tell our own children: “I couldn’t afford gifts.These came from a church.” Families always appreciate free gifts, but it doesn’t make the parent a hero in their child’s eyes. Helping a parent purchase gifts promotes dignity in allowing him/her to be the main giver, thus strengthening the parent-child relationship.

Where will the money go that is collected from the families? Monies collected from the families will be used to help other families in need who come through our Bethel Assistance Ministry each month. Our assistance ministry helps local families with late rent and utility bills, food and medical bills assistance. 

Will you turn away a family if they cannot afford to pay for gifts? Never! We will work with the referral agency/person to ensure that a family will still have access if they cannot afford the costs. In all the years we have done the program (since 2016), only one family has needed assistance to purchase their gifts, and we were happy to help!

How many families are we going to help? Approximately 90 families

What happens on the day the parents come to shop? Parents will be assigned a designated time to arrive. They are greeted by a Family Host volunteer who escorts them through all the various stations. Parents move from station to station at their own pace. Six stations are included: Toy store, free warm gear (hats, gloves, and blankets), gift wrapping, food (breakfast/lunch provided), and free giveaway: hygiene items & food gift card.

Christmas for Everyone Guiding Principles:

• All giving should carefully consider the dignity and self-worth of those

receiving the support

• Giving to those in need feels good to those giving, but it is equally important

to feel good to those receiving

• There is great value in hard work and independence. Purchasing gifts for

loved ones affirms a sense of dignity and personal responsibility that has

redeeming value to those facing difficult circumstances

• Parents/guardians deserve the opportunity to personally purchase gifts for

their children. We view this as a hand-up in place of a hand-out