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Christmas Store teaches children lesson of giving

YANKTON (AP) -- An annual holiday event in Yankton has celebrated its fifth year teaching children that it's better to give than to receive. A Christmas Store, founded by the late Ann Hudson, gives children in grades K-5 the chance to pick out fr...

YANKTON (AP) - An annual holiday event in Yankton has celebrated its fifth year teaching children that it's better to give than to receive.

A Christmas Store, founded by the late Ann Hudson, gives children in grades K-5 the chance to pick out free gifts for family members, the Yankton Press & Dakotan reported. This year's was held Saturday.

The days before the store opens, the board rounds up monetary donations, stores gifts, sends out flyers and gets everything set up at the venue, board member Amy Bertsch said. On the day of the event, they wrap presents and help kids shop.

While the children decide what gifts they would like to take, adults who accompany them will wait in a separate room.

"When we think of Christmas, we think of toys and the little kids, but our goal is to show kids to give to everyone in their family," she said. "A lot of these kids haven't been on the end of giving, which is what Ann wanted kids to experience."

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Monetary and gift donations can be dropped off at the church or given to a board member.

"I went to church with Ann and her husband, Dick, and they became like grandparents to my kids," Bertsch said, teary-eyed. "Her dying wish was to keep the Christmas Store going. Those who knew and loved her stepped up do to that."

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