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Community Services League needs help to prepare for its annual Christmas Store

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Posted at 4:00 AM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 08:15:01-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Independence, Missouri-based nonprofit Community Services League expects to help more families than ever with its annual Christmas Store.

Each December the organization allows qualified low-income families to shop for toys, clothing, and other gifts for free so parents can give their children something special for the holiday. The agency also provides each family with the fixings for a traditional holiday meal.

“Those needs, they’re consistent throughout the year, but they present themselves in a greater fashion during the holiday season,” explained Doug Cowan, president and CEO of Community Services League. “This is a time for people in our community to rally around the holiday season and to rally around families who might really be struggling this year.”

To complete that rally, CSL needs the community to donate toys, books, clothing and food between now and the first week of December.

CSL expects to distribute more than 10,000 toys the week of Dec. 13. It will also distribute more than 2,000 meals.

The nonprofit will also accept monetary donations and has a sign up sheet for volunteers who would like to help.

Families seeking assistance must register in advance. Cowan stressed the importance of registering sooner rather than later, admitting there isn’t much the agency will be able to do on Christmas Eve. It distributes everything well in advance.

“Regardless of income status, all kids get excited about Christmas. The reality is that can be a very daunting thing for low-income families who are struggling to figure out how to make it though the holidays with Christmas meals, Christmas presents,” Cowan said.

You can donate to the cause and register for assistance in the same place on CSL’s website.