Des Moines church provides holiday gifts for community members in need

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Christmas is two months away, but Epworth United Methodist Church got into the giving mood early.

The church opened its doors Saturday so community members could shop from its donated items. However, shoppers did not have to worry about the cost; the church ensured people only had to pay what they felt comfortable spending.

Epworth UMC volunteer Bob Carl believes the event has already spread some holiday cheer through the Highland Park neighborhood.

“Highland Park is not the world’s wealthiest neighborhood, but the people are great,” said Carl. “One of the most memorable neighbors rushed in and told me he wanted to help out, so he dumped a handful of change on the table to help. I thought to myself, ‘That’s awesome.’”

The church’s inventory included clothing, holiday decorations, toys, accessories, books, and games.

“Sometimes when the people get here in the morning, there will be bags of stuff at the back door,” Carl said.

Epworth UMC organizes the sale twice a year, but it accepts donations for the event all year long.

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