Local ministry to host 'affordable shopping day'

Heather Silva, store supervisor at Potter’s Wheel Ministries, rearranges a shelf of toys as the ministry gets ready for An Affordable Christmas. The shopping event for lower-income, working-class families is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 21 at the store, 1815 First Ave. in Scottsbluff.

Affordable Christmas, a special shopping event for lower-income, working-class families, is coming up on Dec. 21 at Potter’s Wheel Ministries in Scottsbluff.

“Qualified families will receive an invitation to come and shop from 5-7 p.m. at the store,” said Heather Silva, Potter’s Wheel Store supervisor. “We’ll have new toys for children and teens available for purchase at one-tenth the original cost. It also provides empowerment and dignity for people that need a hand up, not a hand out.”

Affordable Christmas is a familiar program across the country. However, this is the first year Potter’s Wheel had sponsored the event for the local area.

“There are a lot of families that maybe can make ends meet normally, but wouldn’t technically be classified at poverty level,” Silva said. “But when Christmas comes around and their limited budgets are pinched, they have to make a decision on how they can afford toys for their children.”

She gave an example of a single mother who works and is attending school, but doesn’t qualify for other assistance programs.

“These are the families we want to target,” Silva said. “We want to show them the community can rally around them and help them out because those are the ones that need it the most. Our goal is to provide parents the opportunity to get three gifts per child.”

Silva said they’re inviting the community to act as their referral system in finding the families that would benefit from the shopping event.

“If anyone knows a family that could use and opportunity like this, they can contact us at Potter’s Wheel so we can get them on the invitation list,” Heather said.

A silent auction is ongoing this week at the store to help purchase more toys. Potter’s Wheel is also receiving toy donations and monetary donations from individuals, community organizations and churches.

“If anyone wants to volunteer or help out the day of the event or to refer a family, they’re welcome to contact me,” Silva said.

Potter Wheel Ministries is located at 1815 First Ave. in Scottsbluff and its phone number is 308-633-2888.

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Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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