Christmas store opens

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 store’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.
“That first day they stand in line outside to get in,” Mercy Unlimited Volunteer Services Coordinator Charlene Smith said. “It is like the day after Thanksgiving at the mall.”
Mercy Unlimited’s Christmas Store reopens today for the holiday.
“We have the space and this allows us to present it
See STORE, Page 5A
in a better way,” Smith said. “We are really fortunate this space is available so we can display all these items.”
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.
“You can feel the excitement in the air with today being our opening day for our Christmas store,” Smith said. “This is nice because it ties in with the downtown merchants Holiday Open House which is this weekend.”
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.
“We are so grateful to the community for their generous donations throughout the year,” Smith said as she even looks at a few items that have never been opened. “We save all the Christmas items for the store opening and this year we have more than 7,500 items available at the Christmas store.”
The store, which previously housed Lutterbein’s Art Gallery and Frame Shop, a nail salon, a church activities center and Piehl’s Brothers Mens Clothing Store, is staffed by Mercy Unlimited staff and volunteers.
“We have availability for more volunteers if anyone is interested in helping us in this store or the main store,” 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.
“I love Christmas,” Smith said. “It just gets my blood flowing.”