CHRISTIANSBURG – Shelves at the Montgomery County Christmas Store are filling up with toys, games, clothing, household items, food, and so much more that helps community members in need of assistance this holiday season, but donations are still needed.
“The toy department starts buying things in January when there are sales and they are constantly keeping an eye out on sales, and then there are toy drives that people do,” Volunteer Vicky Dierckx said.
The volunteers and staff work closely with the community to meet the needs for eligible residents in Montgomery County in making the holiday season a little happier and easier on families and individuals.
The Montgomery County Christmas Store is currently accepting online applications for eligibility through Dec. 6, 2023. To complete the online application, individuals must have an ID, income information and proof of address for each family member. In-person applications may be completed at the Montgomery County Christmas Store on Nov. 16 and 27, 4 to 7 p.m., and Nov. 19, 2 to 5 p.m.
According to the MCCS’s website, eligibility for applicants requires that individuals must be a Montgomery County resident, have an income not to exceed 125% of current poverty level for household size (same as the SNAP program). Additionally, applicants must also either have children under the age of 18, or be a resident 62 years of age or older, or receive disability payments.
The in-store shopping week will be held Dec. 5 through 9, and the shop will invite one eligible family member per household to attend the event. Children are not permitted to accompany their parents into the store and there will not be child supervision provided.
Community residents, in addition to anyone visiting the area, can find many ways and locations to contribute to making a child’s Christmas a little brighter and easing the stress of families this holiday season. VT Athletics encourages fans attending sporting events this November to bring unwrapped toys and games to the event and look for the volunteers near brightly colored boxes where they can make their donations.
The games that will be holding toy drives are:
VT versus Clemson volleyball women’s game on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m., VT versus Wofford men’s game on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m., and VT versus UNC Greensboro on Monday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.
Other items that are needed can be found on the mcchristmasstore.org website. New and gently used books in good condition are accepted, but all clothing, food items, board games, household items, any size of baby diapers, and other donations must be new. Food is always in need and can consist of canned items, boxed pasta or mixed meals, peanut butter, and items for those needing to meet with special dietary restrictions such as low salt or low sugar foods.
The Marching Virginians host the Hokies for the Hungry food drive that will bring in thousands of canned foods and other nonperishable food for the Christmas store as well. On Saturday, Nov. 18 at Lane Stadium, the Pep Band will travel through the tailgates to perform for fans. In exchange, they will collect canned goods or cash. The goal is “One Can from Every Fan.” Bring non-perishable food or cash to hear the ‘Hokie Pokie” played at your tailgate.
Donations are always accepted as well to purchase items that the store has not received through other donations and drives. Donations are tax deductible and can be made through the following link https://www.mcchristmasstore.org/fundraising or in person at the store during their donation hours. A calendar on their website can be found showing the store’s donation drop-off hours.
The Montgomery County Christmas Store will also be hosting an Open House on Dec. 3, 1 to 3 p.m. People are invited to walk around the store and enjoy refreshments. The Montgomery County Christmas Store is located at 30 West Main St., Christiansburg. Attendees should enter from First Street.
Volunteers can sign up on the webpage as well and are instrumental in the store’s success. Shoppers needing a personal assistant must apply for that accommodation and can do so on the website or in-person during the store’s open hours.