It’s the Kids Turn To Shop for Christmas Gifts!

Most parents are well into their Christmas gift shopping at this point having weathered Black Friday & Cyber Monday.  Now it’s time for the kids to shop for their gifts for parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers.  That’s where Crittenton Centers’ Stocking Stuffer Store comes in.

Starting Thursday, December 12, kids ages 12 and under can shop with the assistance of a personal shopper at the Stocking Stuffer Store at either Northwoods Mall or the Shoppes at Grand Prairie while parents relax in a designated seating area located outside the store.  While inside, they can choose from a selection gifts ranging in price from $1 – $8 for parents, grandparents, siblings or whomever they wish.  The kids are helped to wrap their gifts so they remain a secret until opened on Christmas Day.  Serving more than 1,200 shoppers from Peoria and the surrounding communities at this “kids only” store in 2018, the Stocking Stuffer Store is the only store of its kind open to the public in the Peoria area.

“There is nothing quite as exciting as watching the kids come through the door to pick out that gift that their family members will really enjoy. It is that look of hope and anticipation in their eyes that makes me feel so lucky to keep this tradition alive. It just gives a sense of pure joy in the holiday season,” said Jeff Gress, CEO of Crittenton Centers.

The Stocking Stuffer Store is now in its 36th year and raised $44,000 last year.  Hours are Thursday – Sunday, December 12-15 & 19- 22 at Northwoods Mall:  Thursday & Fridays are 4 – 8 pm, Saturday are 10 am – 8 pm and Sunday are 12 – 5 pm.  And Saturdays & Sundays, December 14 & 15, 21 & 22 at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie: Saturday hours are from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday are 10 am – 5 pm.

“Of all the volunteering opportunities I have participated in, this is by far my favorite.” said Abby Colvin, Special Events Coordinator at Crittenton Centers.  “This event warms my heart and is truly the reason for the season.”

Volunteers are always welcome to be personal shoppers.  To learn more about helping out and to sign up, contact Abby Colvin at 309-674-0105 ext 217.  Or sign up online at

Crittenton Centers has been serving the Peoria community for 127 years and their services include: The Crisis Nursery, Child Development Center, and Family Services. For more information go to