Can you feel it in the air as the temperatures finally start to drop?  Or perhaps you smell it when you walk into a store and the scent of pine or cinnamon wafts through the air.  Yes, it’s nearly Christmas, and time for Chase Oaks Church to Celebrate 2gether!  Part of the celebration at this special time of year involves giving gifts, and while we all love to receive gifts at Christmas, the One we are really celebrating is Jesus!  It’s His birthday, and He is our greatest gift!  So here at Chase Oaks, we want to celebrate Christmas in a way that honors Him.  To do that well, we want to care for those that Jesus always showed special concern for—those around Him who were struggling in some way.  That’s why this Christmas, each Chase Oaks campus has different community partners and projects to engage in to come around kids, families, or single moms who could use some encouragement this time of year.

Check out the various opportunities available this year as we Celebrate 2gether!

ToyZone Store at the Family Center

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This year we are expanding our ToyZone store at our Chase Oaks Family Center to include partners from multiple campuses.  In addition to helping children in need from Mendenhall Elementary in East Plano, we have also invited children from our partners at Agape Resource Center, Family Promise and City House.  All of these new organizations help homeless families and children.  Three of our campuses (Legacy, Sloan Creek and En Español) will be collecting donations for the ToyZone store hosted at our Family Center.  Our 544 Campus will be hosting their own store this year.  Learn more.

According to Julissa Estrada, our Family Center Director, we typically serve around 250 kids at ToyZone; but this year we are estimating that number to be closer to 300!  Every family who is invited is given a specific appointment time to shop the store, where they receive a shopping bag and can browse the many toys/games/items set up by age group.  Parents pay pennies on the dollar for the items, so if a toy costs $30 at the store, it costs only $3 at ToyZone.  Maximum amount to spend per child is $10, which is equivalent to $100 retail!  In addition, every child receives a free coat.  When families are done shopping, Chase Oaks provides free gift wrapping as the families relax and enjoy some warm coffee or hot chocolate, snacks and conversation with our volunteers.  This is a great opportunity for us to love on these families and also invite them to check out Chase Oaks.

How You Can Help

Gifts-Drop-Off2We need Chase Oakers to continue to help make ToyZone a success by donating toys and coats again this year. The ToyZone Trees will be up in the lobbies on November 18-20 weekend at all of our campuses, and donations can be dropped off beginning the weekend of November 25-27.  All gifts for our ToyZone at the Family Center, need to be received by Sunday, December 4.

When planning on purchasing your donations, bear in mind that gifts for older children (Grade 5) are always a challenge.  Tweens are no longer interested in toys, so we ask for things like sports items for boys and nail polish, purses and hair accessories for girls.

Gifts for Moms

In addition, we will have a tree set up at our Legacy campus benefiting Single Moms in our area. Chase Oaks partners with Gifts for Moms to collect gifts and gift cards for single moms who often get overlooked at this time of year.  We also host a special evening event to pamper and celebrate these single moms in December. More info coming soon on this!  However, donations for this event must also be received by Sunday, December 4.

ToyZone Store at 544

HarmantOur 544 Campus is excited to be hosting a ToyZone store at their new permanent building location (2709 3rd St., Sachse, TX 75048), on Saturday, December 17, that will benefit Hartman Elementary children in need.  Parents invited to the event will be able to shop for just $5 per child, with each child receiving a free coat as well!  Gift wrapping will also be provided.  Donations will be collected at the B&B Wylie 12 Theatres on Sundays, December 4 and 11.  For more information on this event, contact Chris or Jamie Dunkle at .

Sloan Creek Partners with Rountree Elementary

Rountree CarnivalIn addition to helping at our Family Center ToyZone, our Sloan Creek campus will be partnering with Rountree Elementary in Allen for their school’s Penguin Patch Holiday Shoppe during the week of December 5-9.  This gives children the opportunity to purchase gifts for their parents and other family members.  Sloan Creek will be helping to provide volunteers for the shoppe that week at the school during various time slots from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  If you’d like to help, email Renee Smith at .

How Your Generosity Is Making a Difference

The impact of ToyZone and the generosity of those who’ve donated toward it over the years has truly had lasting effects!  One example comes from last year’s ToyZone store, where a family that shopped for their two children went to pay their $20 at the checkout, and instead paid $40 and said they wanted to donate the extra $20.  They explained that winter months were especially difficult for them financially because of their line of work, but they were so blessed by the nice gifts they found for their children that they just felt a huge desire to give extra towards our church or for us to use to cover another family’s shopping amount.

Another great example comes from a few years ago, when one family who was shopping started asking a lot of questions about Chase Oaks and decided to check out our En Español Campus.  They have since been baptized and are now serving at that campus!

That’s not all, through ToyZone and our various partnerships, we have been able to build great relationships with the community.  Teachers from our partner schools constantly let us know that they are so thankful that their students will have gifts under their tree and not just any gifts but the awesome gifts Chase Oakers provide!

Please pray that this year will be another impactful year where many new connections will be made with people and that invitations to our church will be accepted and embraced.

Finally, if you have friends, co-workers, or neighbors who would like to make a difference in people’s lives this Christmas season, regardless of whether they are a part of Chase Oaks or not, please invite them to join with us as we Celebrate 2gether and bless others in Jesus’ name!