“The Manger” is GraceWorks annual Christmas program for eligible neighbors. With the generosity of our local community donating new items ($35 or less for infants to seniors), and with the help from teams of volunteers, a “store-like” environment is created just for these families to choose their own gifts. They are encouraged to make cash donations back into the program.
The 2015 Manger Program will be December 9th – 17th (with the exception of Sunday the 13th) at Church of the City, 828 Murfreesboro Road in Franklin.
The following glimpses of last year’s Manger are only a few of the happy stories from the 3,290 adults and children who had a nice Christmas.
A woman coming to GraceWorks for help after her husband’s suicide said her children were too old for The Manger. She cried when told gifts were available for all ages. After choosing items for her family, she tearfully told a staff member that she had found “wonderful gifts and how much better this first Christmas without her husband was going to be for her family.”
A single mother was barely eking out survival and could not afford to buy any Christmas presents for her daughter. She was grateful that The Manger – and the generosity of donors – enabled her to get gifts and was amazed that she found items her daughter had specifically requested.
A pregnant mother was so determined to find gifts for her family that she came to The Manger despite imminent birth. She began developing labor pains while shopping, had to sit down and was finally convinced to go home, assured her choices would be saved and she would have the chance to finish shopping.
On the last night of The Manger, a mother was paired with a volunteer personal shopper to find gifts for her family. She made her selections and approached the gift-wrapping table. The personal shopper handed her the “To and From” tags to fill out. The mother looked up and said, “Who do I put that these gifts are from?”
The volunteer said, “They’re from you because you chose them.” The mother paused, and then started to cry as the reality of the statement hit her.
Those interested in helping this year can do so a number of ways.
Volunteers are needed throughout The Manger to help in setting up, being a personal shopper, gift wrapping, and more. Visit here to sign up.
Unwrapped new gifts, valued at $35 or less, are needed for all ages. Visit here for suggested gift ideas and drop-off locations.
If you are unable to shop for The Manger, please consider donating financially. Our goal is to raise a total of $150,000 to supplement donated gifts for purchasing additional needed items for The Manger. Sponsors may use our fast and secure online form and designate their donation for this program by clicking here. Or, checks may be mailed to GraceWorks, 104 Southeast Parkway, Franklin, TN 37064. Please put “The Manger” in the memo.
Thank you for making the holidays brighter for thousands of our Williamson County neighbors in need through The Manger.