Stories of Changed Lives

 

Deborah’s Story

As she helps families shop, Deborah loves to tell them her testimony, a story about how the toy store led her to a Savior who cares for her, provides for her, and protects her.

Deborah has been a guest of the store for years, and being able to give her children toys on Christmas opened a door to introduce her to Jesus.

“The toy store is what brought me to being saved,” Deborah said. “I knew there was a God but I didn’t really love Him, and the toy store changed that.”

Now an active member of one of our SYBA churches, Deborah was baptized a few years ago.  She wanted everyone to know what Jesus had done for her, and her relationship with Him has only grown deeper since then.

The toy store impacted Deborah so much that she decided to ask if she could volunteer at the store as well as shop.  She’s volunteered every year since then.

“I asked if I could volunteer because I wanted to help other people feel the way I do when I get toys for my kids,” Deborah said.  “When I shop, I love it because I can’t get those toys for my kids on my own, so I want to help other people have that blessing too.”

Deborah’s favorite part of helping other parents shop is getting to talk with them and hear their stories.  She enjoys connecting with them, giving them hope and joy at Christmas.

“I tell them my testimony, and I think people really need to hear that they are loved,” Deborah said. “My priority is always to hug them and tell them I love them.”

Without Toy Store for Jesus, Deborah wouldn’t know the infinite love of Jesus, and God is continuously using her to share that love with everyone she meets.

 

Crystal’s Story

Two years ago, Crystal thought that Christmas would have to be just like any other day for her and her family.

Her husband had lost his job, and the bills and Christmas came around at the same time of year.  She was feeling hopeless and upset that she could not give her children anything on Christmas, and then she was invited to Toy Store for Jesus.

“It was just really wonderful to know that my kids would still have something provided even when we couldn’t provide it for them,” Crystal said.

Crystal was amazed that someone would help to give her children a Christmas, and she was thrilled that she could find exactly what her three children had asked for.

“Last year, my daughter wanted this special kind of makeup, but I didn’t think I could buy it for her,” Crystal said.  “The toy store had the exact makeup she wanted, so I was able to give her that for Christmas. That made me so excited for her.”

Like any parent, Crystal loves to give her children happiness and joy, and the toy store was able to show Jesus’ love by giving her an opportunity to provide for her children.

 

Kristie’s Story

Bubbly and friendly, Kristie cheerfully articulates what a difference the Toy Store for Jesus has made in the lives of her and her family.

The invitation for the store took a huge burden off of her shoulders.

“They’ve helped my kids have a Christmas,” Kristie said, getting tears in her eyes.  “It’s been a great, fantastic experience.”

Choosing toys that her children will love is Kristie’s favorite part of Christmas, and her daughter got a blanket and pillow from the store that she still sleeps with every night.  Because of what God is doing through the toy store, Christmas morning is a time of celebration and joy instead of wondering if there will be enough to go around.

“It’s priceless,” Kristie said about watching her kids open their presents.  “There are no words, just to see the smiles on their faces.  And to see that someone out there cared.”

Kristie is so thankful for the toy store’s ministry that she wants to be a part of it this year.  She is touched that someone would want to give her children a Christmas, and she wants to help to provide that blessing to others.

“I want to volunteer this year because I feel like it’s a way to give back, and do what someone did for me,” Kristie said.  “I feel like I’m helping all these other kids have a Christmas too.”

The volunteers who give so much time and love to toy store guests made all the difference for Kristie.  Over and over, she expresses how grateful she is for the people who cared enough to help her family, and she can’t wait to volunteer as well.

“I get so excited when I think about being able to give kids what my kids have gotten,” Kristie said.