Christmas Cottage is a GRACE program that provides new, unwrapped gifts to families facing financial hardship due to limited income or recent emergency.
Through the Christmas Cottage, each qualified family is given a hypothetical “budget” that allows parents to “purchase” donated toys, home goods and appliances in a private, store-like setting. This approach allows families to budget their resources and select unique presents while preserving the family’s dignity. Over 2,500 individuals and families are served at Christmas Cottage each holiday season.
Providing warmth and comfort this season not only allows families facing hardship to uphold cherished traditions, but it also empowers them to continue a legacy of giving and instill new traditions year after year.
This incredible effort is sustained through gifts donated by the community and hundreds of volunteer hours. If you would like more information about donations or volunteering, please contact the GRACE Volunteer Coordinator.
For ideas on what toys you can donate, please visit our Amazon Wish List or Toy List below!
VOLUNTEER/ DONOR FAQ
What is the GRACE Christmas Cottage?
The Christmas Cottage is a program that provides families with Christmas gifts for their family at no cost to them. What makes our program unique is that we allow our clients to make their own selections of gifts for their family. Each family is given a budget based on their family size. They “shop” in the cottage among age appropriate items that are given a point value that is representative of a dollar value of the item. This way, they not only get to choose the gifts that they know their children will like, but they are learning to budget and understand the value of what they are receiving. It really helps the parents maintain a sense of dignity since they are able to maintain a level of autonomy in their selections.
How many volunteers does it take to operate the Cottage?
Including the volunteers who decorate the space, those who work while the cottage is open and those who help take everything down and pack up, it takes more than 450 volunteers!
Do you still need volunteers?
Volunteers are crucial to the success of Christmas Cottage. Contact GRACE Volunteer Manager for details.
What is the minimum age for a volunteer?
Volunteers at the Christmas Cottage have to be 16 or older.
How many people does the Christmas Cottage help?
On average we serve over 2,700 families members with new, unwrapped gifts, housewares and family appliances. As we continue dealing with the repercussions of COVID, we expect to serve many more in the years ahead!
How soon can people begin bringing donations?
We accept donations for Christmas Cottage all year long. If you’d like to donate items specifically for this event, our Christmas Cottage will be available to receive donations Beginning November 16th. Find us at 1058 Texan Trail (located in the Grapevine Station Office Park).
In the event the Christmas Cottage is closed, please take donations across the train tracks to our Donation Station located on 1060 Texan Trail.
*ask them to set aside for Christmas Cottage
Should gifts be wrapped or unwrapped?
Great question! All donations must be unwrapped, that way we know what the items are and can organize them. Each family that shops with us is given all of the wrapping paper, tape and bows that they will need to wrap their own gifts, so we also need lots of those things donated as well!
Are there certain types of gifts that you usually run low on?
Yes, gifts for teens are usually in shortest supply. Great teen gifts are gift cards ($10, $15 & $20 denominations), movie tickets, DVD’s and CD’s to name a few. We also run low on our family gifts which are things like small appliances, towel sets, dish sets, etc. Each family gets to select one “family gift”.
How can local businesses get involved?
We encourage local businesses to host toy drives or we can supply them with bell ornaments that list gift needs. That way, their employees can select an ornament or two and simply purchase the items listed on them.