December 13, 2020

The Perfect Gift Shop: Offering kids the joy of giving | Local News

By haziqbinarif

Shortly before the opening, Floyd resident Cara Castle brought in a tea set and ended up volunteering to wrap gifts. New volunteer Cierra Whittaker, 15, has shopped the store herself last year. Woods calls her “a super volunteer,” who cleans, organizes, arranges theme food baskets, and will be a “helper elf” when the shop opens Dec. 11.

Donations of new and gently used gift items flowed in – clothes, toys, jewelry, food baskets, housewares, sports equipment and more. With the help of treasurer Karen Baker, the Perfect Gift Shop became a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

As soon as Floyd Community Action mails out Perfect Gift Shop certificates, children respond enthusiastically. Although proof of income is not required, the shop tries to reach families who could use a little help, Woods said. In the first year, they served nearly 250 children and dispensed more than 1,300 gifts, figures that have held steady over the years.

“I knew we were onto something important when a little boy of 10 or 11 handed me earrings to wrap and said, ‘They’re for my grandma. I’ve never been able to give her a gift before.’ He had tears in his eyes,” Woods said.

Woods and her board considered giving certificates to all Floyd County elementary school students this year, but soon realized that it wasn’t feasible during the COVID pandemic. In September, they scrambled to find more spacious quarters. Floyd Baptist Church offered their annex building. Done up in cheery Christmas decorations, the venue gives little indication of its past life as a funeral home.

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