Column: The Gathering hosting Christmas gift giveaway

Published 11:23 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

For families struggling to make ends meet, Christmas can be a stressful season. The National Retail Federation estimates that the average American will spend around $1,000 on holiday gifts this year; money that many people do not have. One Clanton non-profit organization, The Gathering, which is made up of local Christians looking to serve the community, is organizing a free Christmas yard sale in order to serve families that would otherwise be unable to give Christmas gifts. The organization models their servitude after the example of Jesus Christ and works to “love God. Love people. Serve God. Serve people.”

“Giving is a drastically important part of being a believer,” said The Gathering facilitator Jeff Herron. “All Christians are called to do so as a believer. This event and The Gathering allows families to volunteer and enjoy serving together, and helps local parents get through the holidays.”

This is the third year that The Gathering has hosted the yard sale giveaway. Last year, the organization gave away children’s toys, bikes, car seats, high chairs, home goods, electronics, clothes and Christmas decorations which gave individuals in the community an opportunity to provide amazing Christmas gifts for their families.

“Toys, bikes and electronics that your kids have outgrown or don’t play with anymore are a great need,” said event organizer Ashley Eiland Owen. “This year, we are at a new location and our shopping space is bigger, which will allow more shoppers to go through each time.”

The free Christmas yard sale will be Dec. 9 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Shortly before 9:00 a.m., tickets will be given to shoppers waiting in line. The ticket allows each shopper to go through the store for three rounds. The system is designed to ensure every shopper has a fair opportunity to select wanted items.

“If you are cleaning out, we would love for you to consider donating any items that are clean and in excellent condition to The Gathering,” said Owen. “We want to provide high quality items to families to use for Christmas gifts.”

Donations may be dropped off Dec. 5 from 3:45-5:30 p.m. at The Gathering. Other drop-off times may be arranged by contacting Owen at aowen13@gmail.com or Herron at 205-217-1589. Tax deductible forms are available.

The Gathering is located at 106 Chilton Place, Clanton, and regularly serves food boxes to those in need.