Toys sold to families in need for just $2 each at this Edmonton store
EDMONTON -- The Mustard Seed held their fourth annual Family Gift Centre on Wednesday.
The event allows parents and guardians facing poverty to pick out gifts for their children for $2 per toy.
The toys up for sale have been donated by community members.
"It’s anyone who really can’t afford Christmas,” said Dean Kurpjeweit of the Mustard Seed. “Maybe they have grandkids they want to buy for, maybe they have children they don’t have custody of and want to buy something for them."
"When you’re low income, and you have as many grandkids as I do, it’s a huge bonus," Catherine told CTV News Edmonton as she was shopping. She has five grandchildren, and she said she would be "hooped" without the event.
"Everybody deserves a present at Christmas, right?"
Kurpjeweit says the gift centre gives customers a sense of dignity.
"The reason we sell them for $2 and don’t give them away for free is that we want those individuals to have the chance to choose something, to pick it out, and to have the integrity to say to those kids 'I got this for you, I picked this for you, I bought this for you.'"
Any money raised goes to buying more toys for the event.
"It just goes right back into what we’re doing."
But even those who can’t afford $2 aren’t turned away. Kurpjeweit says they had a customer who couldn’t afford to spend anything, so she shopped for free.
"The next year she came back and she handed us enough money not only for her toys, but for another family," he said.
"That’s how we know we’re doing the right thing."
Last year the gift centre helped 456 families get gifts for 1,600 kids. This year they’ve moved to a bigger space, the new Mustard Seed thrift shop space, which will open as a thrift store next year.
The event also runs 12 – 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Anyone who wants to drop off new toys for children 0-18 can do so at 10568 114 Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. by Thursday.
With files from CTV Edmonton's Darcy Seaton