The backbone of the CHRISTmas Toy Store.

Below are brief descriptions of the different positions where volunteers can serve. We have 2 - 3 shifts which last 2 - 2 ½  hours each. Every year volunteers report to us how blessed they feel for serving. If you would like to participate, contact Joe Murawski (see Home Page) and let him know where you would like to work.

    1. Greeters
      You are the first face of the Christmas Toy Store. Warmly greet our shopping guests as they arrive at the building. Determine if our guest requires a Spanish translator. If so, match them with a Greeter who speaks Spanish. Engage guests in conversation, welcoming them to the Toy Store until they can be directed to the Reception Desk.

    1. Reception Desk
      Check the shoppers’ invitation to make sure they are shopping at the correct time. Then you will issue them a numbered ticket.  This number will determine the order in which each shopping guest proceeds through the rest of their shopping experience.  You will also keep up with simple statistical information. Once you have checked our guest in, you will direct them to the Hospitality Area.

    1. Hospitality Area
      The intent here is to make this a warm, inviting atmosphere with music, refreshments and a place to sit while waiting to be connected with a Prayer Partner and then a Shopping Partner. As the host/hostess, your primary duties are to keep this area neat and clean, the refreshments supplied, and to mingle with our guests as time permits.

    1. Prayer Partners
      The Prayer Partners personally pray with and for each of our shopping guests, if they allow, in a special prayer area. You will give them a copy of the “Welcome Letter” and either read it to them or express it to them in your own words. After praying, you will give them a Bible along with information sheets about the services available to them from partnering churches and non-profits.

    1. Shopping Partners
      Each guest will be assigned a Shopping Partner to guide him/her around the store, keeping within the Toy Store guidelines.  You will assist them in shopping for gifts for their children, keeping in mind the number of children, their ages, and genders. In some cases, they will let you know how much money they have to spend and will want your help in making decisions about which toys to buy, etc.. You will have a clipboard with the color coded pricing on it so you can easily direct them to different areas of the store. You will also have a grocery store shopping cart to put all the toys in as you shop. It is highly recommended that you arrive early for your shift and walk through the Toy Store to get a feel for how the toys are laid out so that you can best serve your guest.

    1. Translators
      We serve a large Hispanic community and, therefore, need Spanish translators. Translators may be assigned to one shopping guest to assist them throughout the store or may float from one position to the next depending on translation needs. You will not automatically be assigned as a Spanish speaking Prayer Partner though, unless you specifically request to also work in that position.

    1. Re-stockers and Pricers
      The overflow bags of toys are stacked in the back corner of the gym until they are needed.

      1. Re-stockers will keep an eye on tables running low on toys and refill them as necessary. You will also keep toys neat, presentable and consolidated on the tables so our guests can easily view them.

      2. Pricers will usually only be needed at the first shift to price toys that have been donated late or brought in the morning of the store. However, you may also double check toys on the tables to make sure they have been priced and/or fix price tags that have fallen off.

    1. Security/Parking
      Keep an eye out for theft, violation of rules, scamming, safety and security of the exit. If problems are seen, you will notify one of the Ministry Staff or the Toy Store Coordinator. Three key posts are the Upper Deck to look out over the floor, the Back Exit to prevent people from coming back into the store, and a Floor Walker on the shopping floor.  Additionally, you will check the parking lot to keep an eye out for the volunteers’ cars and watch guests as they return to their vehicles with their gifts.

    1. Check Out

      1. Baggers:  There are two per Cashier. Bagger One will take the toys from the grocery cart and call the price out to the Cashier. He will hand the toy to Bagger Two who will place the toys in large black bags. Bagger One will ask the guest how many children he/she has and get the appropriate number of stockings (1 per child) and a roll or two of wrapping paper to give to Bagger Two to place in the black bags. If the guest needs assistance carrying out their gifts, call for a Go-fer to help them to their vehicle. Baggers remain with their Cashier at all times.

      1. Go-fers:  There are two or three assigned Go-fers per shift whose sole duty is to assist guests to their vehicles with their toys. If all Go-fers are out with guests, then guests needing their assistance should wait until a Go-fer returns and is available.

      1. Cashiers:  There will be three Cashiers assigned per shift. Their duties are to tally the total price of the toys as called out by Bagger One, collect the cash (no checks and nothing larger than a twenty dollar bill), make change if necessary, and secure the funds in the assigned cash boxes. They will also keep the gift cards for the teens at their stations and will issue them to a guest when it is requested by a Shopper Partner (not the guest). The Cashiers on the last shift when the Toy Store closes will arrange the bills by denomination, collect all funds from the three cash boxes and turn funds over to the Toy Store Coordinator.

      1. Check-out is our last opportunity to interact with our guests. Baggers, Go-fers, and Cashiers can take these last few moments to ask our guests what they thought of their shopping experience and extend to them our heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas (Feliz Navidad).

  1.       Behind the Scenes Volunteers

    1. Set-Up and Take-Down Crews
      On the day of the Toy Store, set up tables, bleachers, chairs, etc. Afterwards, take down tables, bleachers, chairs, and clean up by sweeping and picking up trash. It’s not a very glamorous role, but we couldn’t have a Toy Store without you!

    1. Decorating the Toy Store
      On the day before the Toy Store, decorate the gym to give the store a little Christmas atmosphere. What you do is left up to you, and it can be as much or little as you choose. A little garland and some lights can go a long way to make the place look festive.

    1. Sorting Toys
      All toys are delivered to a central collection place (Pleasant Valley Church of Christ). On the Wednesday before the Toy Store, there is a mountain of toys which need to be sorted into price categories before the Pricing Teams can do their thing on Wednesday evening. Volunteers often sort toys from 3-6 pm.

    1. Pricing Toys
      Toys are priced starting at 6:30 pm on the Wednesday evening before the Toy Store. People work in teams by toy price point to mark out the UPC symbol with a black marker and affix the discounted Toy Store price to the toys. Others, after toys are priced, bag toys in huge black bags by price point and set aside until they are delivered to the Toy Store. Pricing is usually finished by 8:30 pm. This volunteer opportunity is one of the most crucial because if toys don’t get priced correctly it makes for a challenging Toy Store.

    1. Sewing Stockings
      Toy Store shoppers are given a stocking for each of their children. We place a children’s Bible, some candy and perhaps a small toy or two in the stockings. If your ladies group can sew and is looking for a project, this one may be it. We need groups/individuals willing to get the fabric, cut out the pattern, and sew about 700 stockings.

    1. Stuffing Stockings
      This is a great youth group project. It can be done anytime after November 1st up until the Toy Store. All you do is stuff the stockings that the volunteers listed above sewed.

    1. Wrapping Paper/Candy/Small toys
      We give a roll of wrapping paper to each family that comes through the Toy Store. Are you good at spearheading collection drives at your church, civic group, office? Every little bit helps. When Halloween rolls around, perhaps you could spearhead a drive to collect leftover candy to use in the stockings. If you go to yard sales, be on the lookout for those happy meal toys that are great stocking stuffers. Maybe you have some small toys that you’d like to donate or know someone who does.




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