Tri-Development Center of Aiken opens gift-wrapping store

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:36 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 at 9:02 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We all know the holiday season can be stressful. So once you’re finally done shopping for those gifts, maybe the last thing you want to do is wrap them.

That’s where one local group is coming in to help. The Tri-Development Center of Aiken County just opened its Christmas Store in downtown Aiken.

Operation TDC Christmas has been going on for more than 20 years. They wrap your gifts and in return buy presents for 200 adults and kids with special needs and disabilities at their facility.

“To be able to provide Christmas to our population of people that we serve to see their expressions; we have someone dressed as Santa Claus, it’s a big ordeal, big excitement,” said Terrence Jackson, director of safety prevention and volunteers for the Tri-Development Center of Aiken County.

And some of the people wrapping your presents are also the ones who will receive gifts.

These are bought with the donations they receive.

“It makes me feel good to get gifts like that from other people and like I said it makes me feel warm and bubbly to receive a gift like that,” said Amy Burns of the Tri-Development Center.

Jackson says allowing people from the Tri-Development Center to work in the store is beneficial.

“We do it for the community so they have that involvement, interaction with the community. They enjoy wrapping so it’s just a great experience for them to have that opportunity,” he said.

He says all of this would not be possible without the community’s support. One local church chose to donate gifts to the families.

“It’s just been such a blessing this year to try to reach out and impact those especially since it’s been a hard year to make a difference in our community,” said Stephen Cannon, pastor at Millbrook Baptist Church.

And to everyone at Tri-Development, they are happy to help wrap your gifts and spend time with one another while doing it.

“I like to be here for my friends,” said Michael Brown of the Tri-Development Center.

If you want to check it out you can find the Christmas Store at 106 Park Ave. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. up until Christmas Eve.

For more information or if you’re interested in donating or volunteering, visit https://aikentdc.org.

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