“Pride for Parents” bringing dignity, hope to struggling families this holiday season

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Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) - There are many worthwhile programs that aim to ensure no child is forgotten at Christmas. However, most of these involve giving families presents to put under the tree.

Pride for Parents is different.

The program is part of Second Mile, a Christian non-profit that serves the Huntsville area through its thrift stores, parenting initiative and a preschool.

As the organization website states, "Second Mile believes that the parents should be the known provider for the gifts at Christmas."

Each year, the non-profit's Neighborhood Store on University Drive collects new and quality-used toys for Santa's Secret Workshop.

The toys are donated by local churches and individuals. They're sold at about half of their retail value, making them more affordable to parents who may be struggling. Parents who are unemployed are invited to volunteer at the store, earning $6 store credit for each hour worked.

Jamie Bush is the director of Pride for Parents. "We believe in dignity, not dependency," she says.

At the store, parents are able to select the gifts they know their children will enjoy the most. Children have the benefit of knowing it was their parents who provided for them.

Pointing to a display of some of the toys available, Bush says, "Frozen is a big deal...the Star Wars Legos. Anything Disney, like Sofia the First (is popular). The Minions are popular and the Baby Alive dolls, any of the Baby Alive dolls."

The Neighborhood Store is located at 2815 University Drive in Huntsville, a quarter-mile west of Memorial Parkway. It's open 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday.

Donations are always welcome and toys are needed in Santa's Secret Workshop through the week of Christmas.

If you'd like to make a financial donation online, click here. These contributions help pay for the purchase of toys.

Bush says any profits from the sale of the toys go back into the community, through the Second Mile preschool and parenting initiative.

Donation pickups are also available in the Huntsville/Madison/Hampton Cove areas. Call (256) 489-8260 to schedule an appointment.

If you're a parent who would like to like to learn more about shopping at Santa's Secret Workshop, please call (256) 536-1953 or stop by the store during business hours.