Church’s Christmas store empowers parents to give amazing gifts

Parents can buy bikes for $5 or less

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s a church Christmas store like you’ve never seen: all kinds of amazing toys for just a few dollars, and parents get all the credit.

Action Church is getting ready to make more than 1,600 children very happy this holiday season and, just as importantly, make their parents proud and dignified.

For only $5 – electronic tablets, balance bikes, big bikes, rip sticks, hover boards, wireless ear pods and so much more.

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The staff at Action Church has been shopping for weeks to find great gifts that kids really want, and they’re so excited to give the gifts to children across Central Florida – indirectly.

Pastor Eddie Rivera, location pastor at Action Church Winter Park, said the church’s goal is to make parents the heroes.

“We don’t want the credit,” Rivera said. “We want God to get the glory but we want the parents to get the credit. And so when little Billy or Bobby or Susie wake up and they go to the Christmas Tree, they’re thanking their parents and maybe Santa Claus depending on their age. But really it gives the parents a sense of dignity that they have some skin in the game and that it’s their money even though it was a little bit of a contribution, it was a contribution nonetheless, and they get to have a level of dignity on that morning when they see the children open up those gifts.”

Parents will come to all of the Action Church locations next Saturday and shop – at a heavily discounted rate.

“They go and they get to pick the toys and shop for their toys,” Rivera said. “Then they go to another room and our volunteers there are able to wrap the gifts and we take them to their car for them. And if they want prayer we pray for them there and we send them on their way.”

Before then, Action Church staff will open and unpack thousands of boxes and fill their auditoriums with the gifts to create the Christmas Store at all four Action Church locations – Winter Park, Sanford, Oviedo and South Orlando.

“Sure, we should pray for people, but the Bible says very clearly that faith without action is dead,” Rivera said. “And so we just decided a long time ago that we’re going to take action and be the hands and feet and love on people and love the cities that God has placed us in.”

Pastor Rivera, who is also the chaplain for both Seminole County Fire Department and Winter Springs Police Department, said 1,600 children will receive amazing gifts this year because of the generosity of its members.

Christmas Store reservations sold out within hours this year, but Action promises to do it again next year for a fifth year in a row.


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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.