The following is from Prospect Presbyterian Church:
Attention young children! Do you want to give a special gift this holiday and have it be a surprise?
The Secret Shoppe is back for its 20th year offering children aged preschool-to-fifth grade the opportunity to buy presents for everyone on their list, including parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, and grandparents from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at Prospect Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall.
What keeps it a surprise is that teenage and adult “elves” will help children pick out gifts, get them paid for and wrapped, while parents and adults enjoy light refreshments as they wait in the church’s Burnett Room. The Secret Shoppe is for children of all faiths and traditions.
Parents can fill out forms upon arrival for the elves to help the children with their gift selections and budget. The gifts are priced from $2 to $9 and include toys, jewelry, gadgets, crafts, decorative gifts and more.
“My favorite part of the secret shop is how proud my boys’ faces are when they are done shopping and have picked out and paid for their gifts for us without our help,” says Holly Evans, Prospect mother of three sons.
An additional feature for families is that parents will have an opportunity to shop for gift items on sale from SERRV, the nonprofit, fair trade organization that partners with small-scale artisan/farmer organizations in developing countries to produce handcrafted products such as jewelry, baskets, scarves, and decorative items.
Sara Smith, whose four grown children were once gift buyers, is one of the many Prospect volunteers who make Secret Shoppe possible. “It’s wonderful for young kids to be able to buy gifts for their families without the family members being present,” she says.
“The sale is not meant to be a fundraiser but a fun-raiser,” says Cindy Thompson, one of the church organizers. If a profit is realized, it goes to supplement mission giving activities of Presbyterian Women, which is sponsoring the sale.
Prospect Church is located at Prospect Street and Tuscan Road in Maplewood.