It is now an official holiday tradition in Independence—children and their parents lining up to choose gifts for others, all for free! The Free Market’s Christmas Gift Shop magically appeared in the GATE Center Conference Room, along with cheerful and colorful Elves to help each child with their gift list. Ninety children, ages 5-18, were able to choose up to five gifts for specific people on their list and have them bagged and tagged for secrecy. After the first two hours, 50 adults came in and chose three gifts each from what was left. All were given a delicious Christmas cookie as they exited, courtesy of the high school’s Culinary Arts class, and a Christmas coffee mug if they wished. The few toys that were left over were donated to the Volunteer Fire Department’s Toy Drive, so every item found a home!
The Free Market’s mission is to keep useful things out of the landfill and send them to new homes, where they will be re-used and appreciated. All year, we save items that are new or like-new and would make good gifts. This holiday initiative adds another element: Reminding people how good it feels to give gifts to those we love and appreciate. This year, there will be 500+ gifts under local trees to brighten the holidays for both the giver and the recipient.
The Free Market is a non-profit initiative of Grayson LandCare, Inc. We are open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm unless road conditions are hazardous.