Giftmart at Sanchez Elementary, Joliet, 2018 – Sponsored by Community 4:12

Giftmart at Sanchez Elementary, Joliet, 2018 – Sponsored by Community 4:12


For decades, the hallmark of holiday charity programs has been the “adopt-a-family” model in which families who have no money to buy gifts for their children are matched up with those who desire to be generous at Christmastime.  While children in recipient families are excited by the arrival of brightly wrapped gifts at the front door, and donor families feel an abundance of joy that comes from sharing at Christmas, the recipient parents often struggle with a loss of pride as their failure to provide is highlighted in front of their children. 


The Giftmart seeks to reimagine the holiday charity model.  Every December, the generosity of communities is harnessed to do more than just place toys under the tree in low-income neighborhoods.  Our focus is fourfold:



  • Provide parents of low-income elementary schools a dignified way to acquire gifts for their children at Christmastime.

  • Provide educational funding for low-income schools.

  • Provide an introduction to individuals in outlying communities that highlight the needs of the target neighborhood. 

  • Encourage  parental involvement at the local elementary school.


Volunteers can choose from a number of different service opportunites including:  wrapping gifts, entertaining children, serving food, managing traffic through the building and helping parents shop.  

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