In 2011 the idea for the Little Lights Christmas Store was birthed out of a desire to use Christmastime to strengthen the families of Potomac Gardens and Hopkins public housing.

We do that by providing gifts for parents to give to their children on Christmas morning.

One week every December, we turn the Family Center into a Christmas Store, stocked with pile after pile of donated gifts. Parents can sign up to come during a specific time slot to pick out a gift, wrap and decorate it, and take it home for their child.

Previously Little Lights gave gifts to students, but parents were not a part of that process. Now we aim to use the Christmas Store to affirm parents in their rightful role as mother or father.

We also strive to deepen our relationships with parents through the Christmas Store. While parents pick out a gift and enjoy the cookies and hot chocolate we have for them, staff members can start conversations and build relationships, which strengthens our work as a whole throughout Potomac Gardens and Hopkins public housing.