427 Adults and 200 Children who couldn't afford new clothes, got to Christmas shop for free this year. Saturday the 12th of December saw The Christmas Shop kick off with smiles, uncontrolled laughter and a huge hall full of suits, ties, purses, food, shoes, shirts and other high quality products you would normally find in a well off department store. The venue - was one of the Zimbabwe's National Tourism Sites, the Celebration Church which happend to be our partners who we were supporting in this heart warming adventure. The hall was laid out like a high-end shop. Servers with Christmas hats acted as personal shoppers, different sections were clearly laid out by age and gender, and large doses of Global Shaper energy coordinated each group of people to the check out tills. Their items would be put inside a bag & handed back to them. People were allowed to come off the streets, homeless families were welcome, and we got the local community involved in bringing along families that they knew were out of job or in need of clothes and food.
The 600+ people were given a welcome drink, coupons (which they could exchange for the things that they chose in the store) and a food hamper. "I can't beleive we can just shop for free," said one of the Christmas Shoppers. "I've always wanted to own a suit, and today I was able to pick one out myself," said another. A sense of dignity filled the room and as each person could choose what they wanted. It wasn't a hand out project, in a very real sense it was empowering. Outside on the lawn, different shoppers showed each other their winnings. It's the start of a Christmas Shop that will open up its doors every year. Thanks to everyone who brough clothes and who helped add a bit of Christmas cheer to Harare.