GRACE Christmas Cottage “officially” launched the holiday season this week with an Open House sponsored by Park Place Lexus. But weeks before, GRACE vcc-picolunteers were feeling the joy.

Wednesday’s “Kids’ Time” and Open House at GRACE Christmas Cottage marked the official beginning of the Christmas Season at GRACE. More than 250 people attended to help GRACE welcome the merry time of year–and fill Santa’s Sleigh with toys.

Earlier in the week, WFAA reporter Chris Sadeghi toured the cottage and was thrilled to learn of the 2,000 children who will have a brighter Christmas because of GRACE and Christmas Cottage. He filed this story that aired Tuesday morning. He spoke at length with volunteer Judy Sutherland who has served more than 700 hours of volunteer time at Christmas Cottage.

For weeks dating back to late-October GRACE volunteers like Judy have been working to make Christmas Cottage a wonderful experience for our client families.

Transforming a vacant warehouse into a Winter Wonderland is no easy feat. Concrete walls were covered with merry wrappings, ribbons and all manner of red, green, silver and gold borders and accents.

Volunteer artists traced, then painted, large cutouts of characters from the animated seasonal TV favorite “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Christmas trees sprouted like festive forests in nearly every corner and turn. Christmas songs, new and traditional, filled the cottage.

Behind the public view, stacks and rows of donated toys, bicycles, hooded sweatshirts, books, electronic games and toys, and thousands of other items were neatly categorized and staged.

Lori Stevens, GRACE Seasonal Program Coordinator (she also manages the massive Feed Our Kids program in the summer!), is the primary staff person, but hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers truly make dreams come true for the GRACE client families.

The vision is a truly simple one: it’s the little boy with a Tonka truck or the little girl with a Barbie doll on Christmas morning who otherwise would have no gift. It’s a memory that will live with that little boy or girl for a lifetime. It’s a celebration—a commemoration—of God’s gift to mankind.

Lori said that Christmas Cottage will start serving an average of 150 children per day on December 8 and through the next three weeks. Christmas Cottage will close on December 22. The large stockpiles of gifts will evaporate quickly.

Gifts for teens and tweens are needed. Gift cards of $5 or $10 to Subway, Sonic and other similar restaurants are great! Also, the youngsters are asking for this year’s popular toys: Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer, Disney Princesses and Barbie accessories like cars, houses, kitchens, and other Barbie-branded toys.

If you would like to help make dreams come true bring a new, unwrapped toy to GRACE Christmas Cottage is at 815 South Main Street in Grapevine. If you have any questions, please contact 817-305-4654.