Christmas Outreach returns to in-person shopping for 2021

Christmas Outreach of Isabella County is returning in person this holiday season after pivoting to a drive-thru style in 2020.

“Last year we did a pre-order system and items were limited with fewer departments,” Stephanie Ohms, media coordinator for the nonprofit organization, says. “This year we are returning Christmas decorations and children’s books.”

Similar to pre-COVID years, guests will be able to choose their own sizing and preferences. The event will offer more freedom and options, Ohms says.

Registration for Christmas Outreach will begin in November. The two rounds of registration will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 1-5 and Nov. 8-12. Guests must call to register at (989) 317-8733.

Shopping days will be held on Dec. 9, 10, and 11 and is open by appointment only. Distribution will be back at Campus Life (the old Coca-Cola building) located at 1200 W. High St. in Mt. Pleasant.

Christmas Outreach is currently looking for new or gently used coats, hats, mittens, boots, children’s books, linens, Christmas decorations, and stockings. All sizes and options are needed ranging from infant to adult.

“We’re particularly in need of bigger 4X and 5X sizes, especially men's coats and boots,” Ohms says. “We also highly recommend heavy winter coat donations rather than windbreakers.”

Donations can be dropped off Dec. 6-7 at Campus Life. Dec. 6 will have a two-hour extended drop-off from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 will end at 4 p.m.

Monetary donations are especially needed and can be mailed as checks to P.O. Box 1227, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804. Money will go directly towards the remaining winter gear and gift needs.

“Depending on what’s donated we have to shop to get missing items,” Ohms says. “Bigger items like coats and boots aren’t cheap and are usually bought through money donations.”

Those who may be interested in volunteering should keep an eye on the Christmas Outreach of Isabella County Facebook page. A sign-up link will be posted early in November, Ohms says.

Read more articles by Leona Falconer.

Leona Falconer is a Central Michigan University undergraduate student with focuses in the fields of public relations, journalism, and communication. With a hometown in Metro Detroit and a residence in Mt. Pleasant, she covers growth and innovation across all of Michigan. She currently writes for Epicenter Mt. Pleasant and Central Michigan Life. You can reach out to her at falco1l@cmich.edu or leonarosef16@gmail.com.