OCDC to open Christmas store

By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

The Opelika Community Development Corporation has a plan to help make Christmas a little merrier this year for local parents and children.
Jimmy Wright, owner of Wright’s Market and president of the OCDC, said plans to open a community Christmas store later this year at USA Town Center are in the works.
Based on a model employed by the non-profit Focused Community Strategies Group of Atlanta, Wright said the store will offer brand-new toys at sharply discounted prices, to help parents with low-to-moderate incomes provide gifts for their children.
“They’ll have people be there when someone comes to register to shop, and they’ll have a conversation with them about what’s going on in their life and maybe some challenges they face. So, it’s not like you come in, buy something and leave – there’s a real engagement process between the shopper and the people at the ministry,” Wright said. “It’s allowing parents to now have access to those things on a budget they can afford, but they’re still providing. It gives them a pride and dignity that they can provide and take care of their families.
Wright said proceeds from the shop will later be re-invested in the community, specifically addressing issues brought to light through the shopper’s conversations with store staff.
“If this lady with a child struggling in school needed a tutor, that would be something that they may pay a high school student to tutor that person, and examples like that. So, out of that initial conversation, they find out things about people’s lives who maybe really need some help,” Wright said.
Wright said there are still some store details being finalized, and he will be happy to further discuss the program with local churches, civic organizations, classes, groups and individuals. For more information about the store and donation details, contact Wright at wrightsmarkets@aol.com.