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Article Written By: Annette Peagler

Dozens of Memphis Athletic Ministries parents filled the Target on Poplar and Ridgeway Thursday for MAM’s annual Christmas store.

Parents say it’s a huge help.

“It’s just hard to keep up with everything plus Christmas. This is a big blessing for us you know,” said Maria Hill, who has two kids who participate in Memphis Athletic Ministries.

“We are going to be serving about 63 families which will impact more than 200 kids and we’re going to be giving them close to $20,000 worth of gifts and toys and clothes for Christmas,” said Jonathan Torres, COO of Memphis Athletic Ministries.

It’s not every day you have a non-profit handing out thousands of dollars to members of the community, but Thursday Memphis Athletic Ministries answered the call.

“It originally started a long time ago with Damon Stoudamire for the Memphis Grizzlies, then it was picked up by Rudy Gray and later by Zach Randolph,” Torres said.

The excited parents and guardians paired up with MAM volunteers who shop for everything on their lists. They don’t even have to touch a cart.

“A tremendous blessing, very grateful for it and it means a lot to me that somebody cared to step up and do something,” Hill said.

Hill says the Christmas store comes at a perfect time.

“We have bills and bills and bills piling up, it’s kind of rough this time of the year to get everything they want on their wish list,” Hill explained.

Not only will the volunteers shop for the parents, but they’ll wrap the gifts too. The program is a huge thank you to close out the year.

“It is our favorite day of the year at MAM. This is one of those days where we get to really let families know how much we appreciate them for trusting us with their kids,” Torres explained.

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