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Organization reimagines annual holiday program due to growing need

South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) is pleased to announce a change in its annual Angel Emporium program for the upcoming holiday season.

Over the past several years, the need for basics – from food to clothing to critical community services – has grown significantly. In order to meet the increasing needs throughout the community, SHIM created Angel Emporium 2.0.

SHIM hopes to help more South Hills families experience holiday joy by giving them the chance to select gifts to fulfill their children’s specific needs and shop in a way that’s most convenient for them. In order to achieve this goal, SHIM is calling on the community to donate select gift cards or offer monetary contributions for SHIM to purchase gift cards, instead of physical gifts. Gift cards will be distributed to SHIM families at holiday celebrations in November.

“It became an increasing challenge to serve all families through Angel Emporium under the previous structure, and without a change to the program, we’d be unable to serve all of our families this year,” James Guffey, executive director, SHIM said. “We had to reimagine the program to meet increasing need, ensuring every family has the opportunity to provide a joyful holiday for their children.”

SHIM’s Angel Emporium 2.0 provides a win-win for neighbors by: serving more local families in need with dignity and respect; aligning with SHIM’s mission to help families achieve self-sufficiency by allowing them to practice the budgeting and financial planning skills they learn at SHIM; empowering participants to choose gifts best suited to their families; using SHIM’s volunteer and community resources most efficiently, to bring holiday joy to as many neighbors in need as possible.

SHIM hopes to collect $20,000 in gift cards for Giant Eagle, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Visa or MasterCard. These specific retailers are convenient for SHIM families, offer good sales, and give families the chance to shop online. SHIM encourages local congregations, schools and organizations to take advantage of their existing gift card programs.

SHIM is proud to partner with Brentwood Bank this year. Brentwood Bank will help encourage the community to participate in the holiday giving program and accept donated gift cards and monetary gifts at all of its locations for SHIM.

The community can get involved by purchasing gift cards to the designated retailers in $25 increments. Gift cards and monetary contributions can be dropped off at any Brentwood Bank location or at SHIM Center in Bethel Park. Online donations can be made on SHIM’s website at http://shimcares.org/give/angel-emporium/. Again, SHIM will not be accepting physical gifts this year.

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