Written by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
Although it is only November, organizations like Bedford Community Christmas Station (BCCS), start their Christmas preparations as early as Oct..
BCCS is a new Share partner, but has been serving the Bedford community since 2006 living their mission of assisting low-income families with a shopping experience during the holidays called the Christmas Selection Express.
The organization opens applications in Oct. and screens Bedford-based families based on several measures including income levels and number of children.
This year BCCS will be serving 265 families; 425 children and 153 seniors and adults with disabilities.
Starting in Dec., the BCCS facility transforms into a department store with different areas specified for Christmas gifts, children’s clothing, a food pantry and more.
“God has blessed our organization from the beginning. This year is no exception. The community has continued to provide donations of items needed to fill our department shelves for our Christmas Selection eXpress distribution program…” says co-presidents Patty Brown and Lori Moorman.
The facility is open Dec. 5, 7 , and 9 for families to indulge in a Christmas shopping experience at no cost to them. Seventy-five volunteers are staffed throughout the facility to assist individuals and families with their shopping experience each day.
Items that are available at the Christmas Selection Express are often donated from the community. BCCS also takes monetary donations that they then use for purchasing more items to be available for shoppers.
In the off-season, Feb. through Sept. the facility is used as a community thrift store. All profit made from the purchases in the off-season is used to support programming by BCCS.
Volunteers are always needed at the facility, however their greatest need for volunteers is to run the thrift store fundraiser after the holiday season.
In addition to Christmas Selection Express, BCCS offers a year-round food pantry, Winter Coat Closet program in the winter, Shoes for Students during the back-to-school season and Easter Eggstra program.
Visit their Share Greater Lynchburg profile to learn more about BCCS’s mission and how to get involved with current and future programs.