All the merchandise cost $5 or less, said Liz Warners, Degage's volunteer and development coordinator. Items for sale range from comforters to coffee makers, soaps, cleansers, hairnets, hygiene products, candles and underwear.
Around 100 shoppers last year
Last year's store drew an average of 100 shoppers that offered 2,000 items for sale, according to Warners.
Patrons may also purchase products for themselves, added Warners.
While this is Degage's third year for the store, this year marks the first time the ministry posted its wish list on Amazon.com, which can be seen online.
A store with dignity
Degage's Christmas store is unique because of the dignity it provides its patrons, said Warners. Christmas is typically the time of year when well-intentioned individuals and organizations donate gifts to the impoverished without realizing it diminishes their sense of self-worth.
"There's such a divide between people giving and people receiving," said Warners. "We want to offer a more dignified option for our patrons to receive or give presents. Our store gives them a chance of being normal and go shopping."
Opportunity to reconnect
Christmas is a special time of year for the homeless who can be estranged from their relatives most of the year. The holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ often is an opportunity to reconnect with them again, and bearing gifts helps bridge that relational gap.
"Often times the holidays are times when they make an effort to connect back together," said Warners.
"Our store is really a fun couple of days."