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Posted December 19, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Christian chamber collecting children's Christmas gifts

By Sally Voth

For the area's newest chamber of commerce, Dec. 21 is Black Friday. And, it's a day to help bring Christmas cheer to needy children.

The Shenandoah Valley Coalition Christian Chamber of Commerce has recently formed out of the Shenandoah Valley Christian Coalition, its executive director Sharon Hollar said on Wednesday.

"We've actually been a group for the last seven years," she said. "We keep getting better and bigger, so we decided to become a Christian chamber of commerce."

Made up of churches, Christian businesses and charitable organizations, the new chamber has more than 200 members, Hollar said.

And some of them will be at the 7-Eleven gas station near the Interstate 81 interchange in Strasburg Friday collecting toys to make Christmas better for less fortunate children, she said. Hollar said the chamber, which meets monthly, has worked with Edward Jones and the area Rotary Clubs to get gift baskets together for children.

Hollar said chamber members will be collecting toys Friday starting at 4 p.m. The Friday before Christmas is what Hollar refers to as the "real" Black Friday, as some parents realize they can't afford presents for their children.

The original coalition is behind the annual Family Fun Fest, which is held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds and includes food drives, food sales, music, church services pony rides, bouncy castles and other activities for children as well as adults.

At this time last year, coalition members gave money to gas station customers in Mt. Jackson, Hollar said.

The chamber's website -- which is still being updated -- can be found at www.svcc4u.com.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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