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Nativity scenes bless one table. Angels adorn another table. Different types of Christmas candles and wreaths are situated on other tables.
Nearly two weeks prior to the storeâ€™s opening, people checked the locked door to see if they could enter and peered through the windows to get a glimpse of the items going up for sale.
What they would see is an array of goods collected throughout the year.
â€śThat first day they stand in line outside to get in,â€ť Mercy Unlimited Volunteer Services Coordinator Charlene Smith said. â€śIt is like the day after Thanksgiving at the mall.â€ť
Mercy Unlimitedâ€™s Christmas Store reopens today for the holiday.
â€śWe have the space and this allows us to present it
See STORE, Page 5A
in a better way,â€ť Smith said. â€śWe are really fortunate this space is available so we can display all these items.â€ť
The Mercy Unlimited Christmas Store reopens at 46 E. Auglaize St., adjacent to Mercy Unlimited. This is the second year the items will be on display in their own showroom.
â€śYou can feel the excitement in the air with today being our opening day for our Christmas store,â€ť Smith said. â€śThis is nice because it ties in with the downtown merchants Holiday Open House which is this weekend.â€ť
The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The store relies solely on gifts and donations. For anyone wishing to donate, items can be dropped off between 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the red doors at the back of Mercy Unlimited in the municipal parking lot.
â€śWe are so grateful to the community for their generous donations throughout the year,â€ť Smith said as she even looks at a few items that have never been opened. â€śWe save all the Christmas items for the store opening and this year we have more than 7,500 items available at the Christmas store.â€ť
The store, which previously housed Lutterbeinâ€™s Art Gallery and Frame Shop, a nail salon, a church activities center and Piehlâ€™s Brothers Mens Clothing Store, is staffed by Mercy Unlimited staff and volunteers.
â€śWe have availability for more volunteers if anyone is interested in helping us in this store or the main store,â€ť Smith said.
Smith said money raised in the Christmas store goes to help provide food, clothing, shelter and emergency aid to needy individuals and families in the immediate area.
â€śI love Christmas,â€ť Smith said. â€śIt just gets my blood flowing.â€ť