(Alexandria, MN)  Once again this year there is a special shopping opportunity for children ages 3 years old through 6th grade to purchase Christmas gifts for their families.  It's called the Small Mall.

The first gift the kids are able to buy costs only 25 cents, the next a dime and every gift after that a nickel. This two-day event is powered by volunteers.

The Small Mall is open from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM both Monday and Tuesday at New Life Christian Church in Alexandria.

Pat Haabala is currently in charge of the program.  She talked about the Small Mall with KXRA Tuesday morning.  (AUDIO BELOW)

History of the Small Mall

Back in 2011 Jennie Hevern and Sharon Henneman had a vision to create a Christmas gift shopping opportunity for children who may not have much. They rallied volunteers and the Small Mall was born. It was a two-day event held at the 6th Avenue Community Center. Each child who came to shop was paired with a volunteer who helped them select gifts for their family. When they finished shopping, they would have all their gifts wrapped by volunteers. Children were encouraged to earn a dollar by helping at home. At the Small Mall their first gift cost 25 cents, the next gift a dime and every gift after that a nickel. Proceeds from the Small Mall were donated to children in Haiti.

Although Jennie and Sharon both passed away in 2017, the Small Mall has continued and continually grown every year. In 2018, the Mall moved to New Life Christian Church to accommodate the increasing number of shoppers and volunteers. And the proceeds started going to the Jingle Bells Telethon.

You can be a part of the Small Mall by donating cash and/or new and gently used items appropriate for men, women and children. You can also give your time and talents by volunteering at the Small Mall as a greeter, shopper, gift wrapper or cashier. You can also play a critical role by helping with the set up and tear down of the Small Mall. Jennie and Sharon’s legacy continues in the giving heart of every volunteer and the light in each child’s eyes as they purchase Christmas gifts for their family.