Christmas Connection, Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK)

Name

  • Name:Shelley Dutton
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Christmas Connection, Inc.
  • Address:P.O. Box 891020
    5728 S. May Avenue
    Oklahoma City, OK 73189
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:405-634-2006
  • Main fax:405-605-2111

Organization Web

User Email

Location

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General

  • Mission:
  • Christmas Connection is a year-round organization dedicated to helping low income families and senior citizens in Oklahoma City, and the surrounding metro area. Our goal is to strengthen our community through programs that provide human service and education opportunities as reflected in our mission to treat those in need with dignity and respect by giving them the opportunity to personally shop for and select items for Christmas, education and daily living.

  • Overview:
  • Christmas Connection began as a seasonal organization operated exclusively by volunteers to serve the poor and needy at Christmas. Since opening our doors over 30 years ago, our Christmas Shopping Days program continues to give families the opportunity to provide Christmas gifts, toys, and clothing for children and family members and create wonderful Christmas memories. During Christmas Shopping Days, families and seniors shop up to twelve departments stocked by volunteers with new and gently used clothing, shoes, house wares, books, toys, groceries and more. In 2012, 744 families in the Oklahoma City metro area with 1,839 children were beneficiaries of our program. Senior citizens also benefit from Christmas Shopping Days. All clients are screened by local partner agencies and referred to Christmas Connection for assistance.

    In 2004, requests for assistance outside the Christmas holidays prompted the expansion of our program to include education. Schools and partner agencies who refer to our Christmas program had students needing appropriate clothing for school. Our School Connections program now provides uniforms, backpacks and school supplies throughout the school year to students who cannot afford them and have no other resources. Seasonal clothing and coats are also available as needed. By 2010, 48 schools were referring students for help. Requests for school uniform and supplies increased by 42% in 2011. With the move to a continuous school year and the adoption of a school uniform policy for all Oklahoma City Public School District students, anticipated growth for the 2013-2014 school term is significant. We will have 87 schools referring students to the program, up from 67 schools in the current school term. Our average cost for a uniform set of two pants and two shirts is $35. Approximately 800 backpacks, a wealth of school supplies and over 2,200 school uniform sets will be provided to students living in poverty in the coming school year.

    While Christmas Connection purchases new school uniforms and new toys for Christmas, the bulk of inventory in the Christmas Connection store comes as donations from the public. Most of the items are gently used and come in small quantities from individuals rather than from businesses or retailers. In addition to clothing and toys, we receive a wide variety of household items. The Crisis Relief program resulted from these extra items received and now provides household items, linens, bedding, kitchen essentials and small appliances plus clothing, shoes and more to families who experience a loss due to fire, tornadoes, storms, flood and other disasters. All clients for the Crisis Relief program are referred by area fire departments or the Red Cross.
    With the wildfires outbreaks in 2012, we saw a record number of referrals for our Crisis program and provided over 3,900 household items alone to families affected.

    47% of our clients are referred for General Shopping. This provides a vital resource for basic necessities and seasonal clothing and shoes for families living below the poverty level. The majority of our clients are the working poor who have a job and a place to live, but their income level cannot adequately provide for a family of 4 or 5 or more.

    In 2009, we purchased a former grocery store. The facility allows us to better serve the needs of our client families and utilize volunteers more efficiently. The facility also has tenant space which is now fully leased and provides income towared operating expenses. In 2012, 7,049 unduplicated clients received services from Christmas Connection through our programs. As our program options have expanded, we frequently see clients served in more than one area. Many of the students referred for school uniforms are also the families we see for Christmas Shopping Days. Families referred for Crisis Relief may also need school uniforms lost in a fire. The total number of individuals referred through all programs last year was 10,912 in comparison to the unduplicated number served.

    Allowing the families to personally shop for what they need gives a sense of control in what is often a difficult and stressful circumstance. Clients are encourage to support the program with a $1.00 donation per family member. This is not required and there is never a charge to our clients for any service. Many clients go to great lengths to donate so that the programs are available for others.

  • History:
  • Founded in 1981 by Barbara Fagin and a group of friends, Christmas Connection began by setting up a store environment where families in need could shop for and select items for Christmas. They partnered with agencies like Community Action Agency and local schools to identify and serve those with the greatest needs. For many years, the volunteers would secure vacant store fronts to set up the "Christmas Store" temporarily for shopping days. Volunteers would collect items from the public and give away all the items they had that year and start over the following year in another location. There were no paid staff for the first 17 years. The expansion to include school uniforms and supplies took Christmas Connection outside the holiday structure with special shopping days in August for the school programs.

    With the move in 2009 to the new facility, Christmas Connection began keeping regular, weekly store hours. In 2010, our staff was doubled to two persons including the Executive Director and the Program Director. We also benefit from a part-time AmeriCorps member. With an exceptional group of faithful volunteers, the organization still operates our extensive programs on a very small budget. Our objectives are to build public awareness of the Christmas Connection within the community and in turn, to increase fundraising revenues, donations of in-kind items for the store, and support from the community in order to increase the number of families served through our programs.

    Our dedicated volunteers continue to serve in many capacities including personal shopping assistants for the clients who come to us. They also fill roles as department heads, stockers, receiving clerks and maintanence and custodial staff. The opportunity to work directly with clients and see the benefits to families living in dire circumstances brings our volunteers back year after year. Over 900 volunteers served over 17,000 hours in 2012.

  • Year established:1981
  • Endowment:Unknown

Staff

  • Executive / Trustee board size:15
  • Advisory board size:7
  • Staff size:3

Registration

  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:731223908

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:731223908
  • Organization Name:CHRISTMAS CONNECTION INC
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:DBA SHARING TREE
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:PO BOX 891020
  • Organization City:OKLAHOMA CITY
  • Organization State:OK
  • Organization Zip:73189-1020
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:December, 1984
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general publicĀ 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):560, 994, 575
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Supplying money, goods or services to the poor, Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code, Services for the aged (see also 153 ad 382)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:P29Z
  • Asset Amount:$847,191
  • Asset Code:5 ($500,000 - $999,999)
  • Income Amount:$200,503
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$174,953
  • Last Updated:2/23/2018 6:27:24 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.