Hoboken Grace to Host Second Annual Christmas Exchange
The holiday season is a time for family gatherings, buying presents for loved ones, and appreciating everything you have. Thanksgiving and Christmas mean different things to everyone, but for many, it is the season of giving, the perfect time to give back to the community and to people who are less fortunate. The Hoboken Grace Community Church is giving you a chance to do just that, with their second annual Christmas Exchange.
The Christmas Exchange gives people the opportunity to adopt a child or an entire family in need through gift-giving, and helping make a memorable Christmas for these children and families. Gifts will be collected on December 9th and 10th between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the Hoboken Grace “elves” will deliver them for you. Those interested can sign up at HobokenChristmas.com. There, you can choose to adopt a child or an entire family and once signed up, you will receive a list of needs for that specific family or child. Hoboken Grace has been working with the Hoboken Housing Authority, HOPES, HUMC Neighborhood Health Center, Hoboken Family Planning and The Jubilee Center to identify families in need. Volunteers are also needed for the event.
“Through this event we get to provide toys for children this Christmas but it’s also an opportunity to provide much needed household items that can benefit a whole family,” said Anthony Reimer, Outreach Director at Hoboken Grace. “Some parents have asked for simple things like pots and pans, bedding and toiletries, diapers and towels.”
The Christmas Exchange idea started two years ago when Kara Cohen, a church attendee and resident of Hoboken, loaded a U-Haul with her husband and in-laws and distributed gifts to families at the Hoboken Housing Authority. “It’s so nice to bring people that little bit of happiness,” said Cohen. “It filled me in a way I wasn’t expecting.” This year Cohen and Hoboken Grace wanted to extend the Exchange to even more people. “This year we want to raise the bar. We delivered over 500 gifts last year through the Christmas Exchange and I’m hoping that the program will grow each year.”
“Kara began this event two years ago with very limited resources and was able to impact so many people in our community,” said Chris High, Lead Pastor at Hoboken Grace. “We knew it was something we wanted to be a part of. We knew we needed to join her in trying to impact as many people as we could the following year and every year after that.”