The Shop of Wonders Story

One in three families in Penticton says they’re struggling due to the high cost of living*.  This leaves them with little room in their budget to buy gifts to place under a Christmas tree.

The Shop of Wonders was created to ensure that all families have equal opportunity to celebrate Christmas, despite any hardships they may face. Shop of Wonders offers dignity to families by allowing parents to “shop” in our toy store. And when we say “shop,” we mean we invite parents to come and choose the perfect gifts for their children. For absolutely free.

Last year was Bethel's first time hosting Shop of Wonders. Through community agencies, we found families who need help making Christmas special. And then, we pre-purchased and received donations of beautiful gifts and toys so parents could give their children something special at Christmas.

What makes the Shop of Wonders so extraordinary is how this happens. For one week in December, we set up a pop-up store filled with Christmas presents for kids, and invite each family in for a one hour appointment, three families at a time. They’re welcomed into our winter wonderland, filled with magical decorations, Christmas music, hot chocolate and goodies. Parents are invited to wander through the store with the help of a personal shopper or on their own.

Our goal is to provide each child with three stocking stuffers, two 'elf' gifts ($20 value) and one 'Santa' gift ($40-$50 value). Once the gifts have been chosen, our helpful elves will carefully wrap the presents or send enough wrapping paper home with them so they can wrap the gifts themselves. And even though it’s still months away, we’re busy making plans for the upcoming season by beginning to stock our Shop of Wonders.

 *Angus Reid Survey


If you have any questions about Shop of Wonders, please email Holly -