Christmas Anonymous starts setting up store - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Christmas Anonymous starts setting up store

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Families in need will be able to give their children Christmas gifts this season thanks to a local organization.

For more than 50 years volunteers have been coming together during the holiday season for Christmas Anonymous.

Volunteers started unloading and setting up donations for their store on Thursday at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester.

"Basically, what it does is it tries to provide Christmas cheer to for those who otherwise wouldn't have had it," said Brad Brech, Board President for Christmas Anonymous.

He went on to say, "So parents can come to our store, as we call it, to pick gifts for their children so that they can bring them home and wrap them and put them under the tree so that as far as the children know, it came from their parents, thus Christmas Anonymous."

Those eligible to shop in the store, are pre-qualified through social agencies.

There is a limit on the amount per child, but everything is free.

Donations include: food, toys, clothes, outerwear and bicycles.

"Pretty much that's why we call it a store, because we have all our different departments to try and serve the whole family and make sure that they have a great holiday season," Brech said.

A new addition this year is the book room. Reading specialists and librarians will be on hand to help parents pick age-appropriate books for their kids.

"When you have some of those people guiding the distribution of the books, then we're making sure that kids are getting the right books for their age groups and also that their parents can help read to them," said Gail Sauter, a volunteer with Christmas Anonymous.

Brech said they are expecting about 650 families to come out on Saturday to shop for presents.

Christmas Anonymous also helps out senior citizens in need as well as group homes by providing holiday dinners.

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