Heartside missions open Christmas store

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Grand Rapids missions that help people experiencing homelessness year-round are also working to ensure they can bring presents home for the holidays.

The Heartside Christmas store is a partnership between Dégagé Ministries and Mel Trotter Ministries. Wednesday marked its fourth year offering inventory for shoppers.

 “It means so much to them to be able to pick out a gift, have it wrapped and have it presented on Christmas Day,” Degage Executive Director Marge Palmerlee told News 8. “It’s a big undertaking, but it’s wonderful to see the tears of joy as people realize they can come with gifts on Christmas.”

Palmerlee explained the holidays are the only time of year many living in the Heartside neighborhood will see loved ones. The store offers everything from children games to adult clothing items and kitchen appliances at prices that don’t exceed $5.

The gifts are all donated and volunteers run the store alongside the missions’ staffs. 

Planning for the shopping opportunity begins in the fall each year.