BOZEMAN — In the true spirit of Christmas, Hope Lutheran Church hosts children every year to do some holiday shopping.
Christmas is a time of giving, but for some families, money is an issue. The Children's Christmas Shop at Hope Lutheran Church has been helping keep Christmas bright for years.
"This is the 18th year that Hope Lutheran has sponsored this event. And this year we are maxed out with 400 children signed up to come today," says Paul Goodman, director of youth and family ministry.
Lead Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church Heidi Hester says "they get to come and pick out their gifts for their families and themselves and then they get to go home with some Christmas spirit."
The children get to pick out five gifts to give to their family members and one gift for themselves.
"They are so excited about the ability to be able to give some love to their families that they may not have been able to do beforehand. They are really excited to share Christmas with everybody," says Pastor Heidi Hester.
Hope Lutheran reaches out to businesses across the community who donate food, gifts, or financial contributions for this event. Over 20 partners provided contributions this year.
"We have accumulated at least 2,400 gifts across the year. We actually start shopping next week for next year," says Goodman.
Hope Lutheran has over 200 volunteers that help make this event possible.
"I think it's our largest crowd of children that are going to be coming through ever. It's a lot. I think it's just more people, more activity, more need in the community," says a Christmas Shop volunteer.