TNUMC Connectional Ministries staff participated in the Last Minute Toy Store at 61st Avenue UMC in West Nashville on Monday. The LMTS, open from December 16-19, is a ministry offering an opportunity for families in need to shop for Christmas gifts for their children. This year, 4,318 Middle Tennessee children were served who otherwise would have no presents under the Christmas tree.
The shopping experience provides each family with several individual gifts per child as well as stocking stuffers, candy and fruit, books, and even bikes, scooters and larger toys. Games, art supplies and sports equipment were given for the whole family to share. Families also are provided a cut Christmas tree if they do not have one already in their homes.
Volunteers from churches, businesses, and high schools come together during the busy holiday season to serve this community. At the event, volunteers register and verify each family, escort shoppers through the process, provide childcare for their children, and deliver the gifts and Christmas trees to their cars.
The Last Minute Toy Store operates on a first come, first served basis. Customers are those who missed deadlines or are not served by other gift programs. Shoppers get tickets with a specific time to come back and shop.
Since 1993, the Last Minute Toy Store ministry at 61st Avenue UMC has partnered with other United Methodist Churches, Highland Park Church, The Marine Corps Toys for Tots, and many, many others to provide gifts for families in need.