Why this shop is giving away free presents
A CHRISTMAS shop where everything you choose is free? Sounds like a dream.
But a shop in Ocean Shores is about to do just that: offer thousands of free presents to "anybody" for the week leading up to Christmas.
The man behind the community-minded concept, Dennis Stevenson, said he began to open free Christmas shops because he "lives to give".
"The whole idea is to make sure nobody goes without presents in the area, they truly don't need to," he said.
"Over 11,000 gifts went out at my last Christmas shop in Brisbane.
"I have been collecting hundreds of new gifts in preparation but I do rely on donations and need as many as possible before opening.
Mr Stevenson said most of the presents will be new and come from people in the local and surrounding communities, not businesses.
Most families have dozens of new, unused things in the house that they would enjoy donating to help make sure children or adult don't go without this Christmas," he said.
"Any new items are very appreciated: toys, furniture, things for bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, lounge, study, playroom, garage, beach, camping, clothes and accessories for all the family, sports, electrics, plants, crafts, travel, vouchers for free professional services - I keep these aside for people who really need that help."
Mr Stevenson's give away spirit took off in 2008 when he opened his leased house in Hamilton, Brisbane and gave everything away.
Next, in 2009 he borrowed an empty Gold Coast shop, called it Spirit of Christmas and gave thousands of new Christmas presents away.
"I never have restrictions on who can take presents," he said.
"Love doesn't discriminate so all are welcome.
"I'm expecting people to come from as far as the Gold Coast this year.
"I need to thank the landlord and the insurance company AMS for their generosity towards this movement."
If anyone would like to donate presents prior to the shop opening or would like to volunteer in the shop for a few hours when it opens, please phone Mr Stevenson on 0490 444 226
The free Spirit of Christmas shop opens for eight days from 9am - 6pm: Monday December, 17 to Monday December, 24.
Find it at Ocean Shores Shopping Centre at 78 Rajah Road, Ocean Shores, NSW.