DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With Christmas just two weeks away, the YWCA in Dayton is spreading some holiday cheer to women in the Miami Valley. 

The organization is preparing for its annual holiday market, where women who utilize their programs can shop for gifts for themselves and their families. Volunteer coordinator Kelsi Martinez, said the goal of the market is to give women a sense of comfort and relief as they endure a challenging holiday season. 

“As women and children are moving through trauma, the holidays can be a compounding time for those issues. But we make sure during the holiday market that women shop independently, that they have time to breathe, that they can pick out items at their own leisure.”

A major part of that, she added, is allowing women autonomy to customize what Christmas morning will look like for their families.

“We arrange it into tables or like a store to make it more equitable, and then to have women choose what they want — to select for their household. Even if it’s just, if someone donated a red coat, and they want the blue coat, they’re able to pick the blue coat and pick their child’s favorite color or pick the smell that they like.”

Women will be able to choose from boys and girls toys, to learning devices, cookware and even makeup and jewelry. But Martinez said the market wouldn’t be possible without donors who were flexible this year, despite the pandemic.

“Donors are relying more on our online wish list compared to previous years where it’s been donation drives. We have been asked to social distance, so we’re not gathering, such as [at] religious organizations [or] universities, and people are being creative and sending them online.” 

Donations will continue to be accepted throughout the year either through the organization’s wish list or by dropping them off at their physical location. They are reminding donors that both necessities and leisurely goods such as cosmetics and jewelry are appreciated. Those wishing to donate to the Holiday Market can call their main number at 937-461-5550, and anyone experiencing intimate-partner violence can contact their 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 937-222-SAFE.