When shopping for Christmas gifts, it is always best to remember the reason for the season. For many people, the act of buying gifts from stores that exist to support local charities personifies the concept of the season of giving.
In Hernando County, a number of charity thrift stores offer a multitude of gift and decoration items. And as guests shop, they’ll be supporting a good cause.
The Fostering Hope Kidz Closet, 5310 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, has epitomized the concept of charitable stores–actually offering free merchandise for those in need, while also accepting donations to support Fostering Hope’s mission of helping foster kids across the state.
“Anyone in the foster care community can come in here anytime we’re open, to get free clothes for ages kids to adults, plus used toys and items for babies,” said Gloria West-Lawson, executive director of Fostering Hope Florida. “Anyone else in the community can come in twice a month.”
On this coming Monday, from noon to 6 pm, parents can come in and select three new Christmas toys per child as a part of Fostering Hope Toys Giveaway 2022. “It’s for anyone in need in this community,” said West-Lawson.
It is the mission of Jericho Road Ministries to “create a Christ-centered, sustainable ministry to serve the hungry, homeless, and hurting in West Central Florida.” And to support its full array of helping services, Jericho Road maintains a local network of thrift stores that offer numerous gift and decoration items.
“We offer housewares, clothing, toys, books, knick knacks, as well as all types of decorations,” said Nathan Stauffer, vice president of communications at Jericho Road. “And as people shop, they’ll be helping the hungry, homeless and hurting.”
The Jericho Road thrift stores are located at 15000 County Line Rd, Spring Hill; 5260 Commercial Way, Spring Hill; 31170 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville; and 16479 Wiscon Rd., Brooksville.
With their brightly dressed bell ringers and boundless reputation for giving, the Salvation Army has become synonymous with the spirit of Christmas. In Hernando County, the Salvation Army Family Store, 3570 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, sells items with the intention of raising funds to support its many missions. According to store staff members, as store inventory changes daily and offers a full range of items, shoppers should stop in and check out their current inventory to find the perfect gifts for Christmas.
The Sheriffs Ranches Thrift Store, 1430 Pinehurst Dr., Spring Hill exists to support the Sheriffs Youth Ranch Florida. “Through its residential care and counseling services, the ranch has served more than 173,000 children at risk,” said Anthony Littrell, store manager. “It’s always nice to help kids in need, especially during the Christmas season.”
At his store, Littrell said that jewelry, clothing, picture frames, CDs and DVDs, baking items and housewares, collectibles and books are available for purchase as gift items, along with decorations that include ornaments, ribbons, and sometimes Christmas trees.
“We have everything,” said Littrell.