With the holidays around the corner, nearly everyone is figuring out what to get for their groups of friends and families to enjoy for the Christmas season. From reading various wish lists to organizing the Christmas budget, it can be a very fun, but chaotic time for a lot of people.

If you’re someone trying to figure out what to give to your kid, best friend, or whoever, one unique option here in Fort Mill might be the place for you.

Located off Deerfield Drive near the Fort Mill School District office and the old Charlotte Knights baseball stadium, the Humane Society of York County Christmas Store offers a variety of Christmas products for Fort Mill families looking to get into the Christmas spirit. From Christmas trees, to ornaments, and even some sports memorabilia, the store provides a whole variety of good present ideas at an affordable cost.

Sports memorabilia at the Humane Society of York County Christmas Store.

Not only does the store provide unique features, but all proceeds and purchases from the store helps the Humane Society of York County’s mission to make sure animals are able to be adopted and placed in a loving home. The store also helps the support of neuter programs for community cats and dogs, the Helping Hands Program to assist with critical treatment for pets, and getting the community involved among rescue animals.

Various Christmas ornaments at the Humane Society of York County Christmas Store.

Mary Beth Knapp, current board member chair and continued active volunteer, recently sat down with the Fort Mill Sun to go into more depth about the Christmas Store and why it’s important for everyone to know about.

Mary Beth Knapp.
Source: Humane Society of York County

Question: What is the Humane Society of York County Christmas Store about?

“The Christmas Store is another source of income for the HSYC. The Humane Society of York County (HSYC) is an independent local non-profit organization dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. We are a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization…We are responsible for making all our own funds. We receive NO funding from the city, county or state; and are NOT affiliated with or supported by the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, or any other animal welfare organization.This year it’s ever more important because our fundraising events were all cancelled due to COVID.”

Question: What was the main reason for creating a Christmas Store for Fort Mill?

“The main reason for creating the Christmas Store was due to the volume of donations of such wonderful items. One of our volunteers loves Christmas and coordinates this effort. Our main chief elf, Elaine Siegel has dedicated her year to coordinating, organizing and pricing items in preparation of our Store. Our location depends on availability and we have been blessed to have the Big Fireworks location now for a few years in a row.”

Question: Where do all the profits from the store go to?

“Since the Store is in a location that is donated and the volunteers donate their time, 100% of the shop’s proceeds minus a few expenses go directly to the HSYC to help and save more lives.”

Question: Is the store just Christmas gear or are there any other unique products inside the store?

“This year due to COVID we opened the shop early and included Halloween/Fall. But now it is primarily Christmas and it’s fantastic. The assortment of items and the prices are amazing.”

Question: What is your favorite part about the store?

“The energy of Christmas fills the store. Folks are happy to shop Christmas and especially shop to help the animals at the HSYC.”

Question: Are the workers inside the store (cashiers, stockers) volunteers similar to the ones that volunteer at the animal shelter?

“The volunteers at the Store are primarily independent to the Store.”

Question: What COVID-19 protocols is the Christmas store taking to ensure a safe environment for all?

“The store does require masks and social distancing. And the Big Fireworks owner has sneeze guards installed. We also ask our volunteers to be conscientious…if they are feeling unwell, don’t come in. Wash your hands often. Be kind since emotions during this time can be elevated.”

Question: Why is it important to create a Christmas store to help animals in York County that are in need?

“It costs $53,000 a month to run the HSYC. We have a small staff, operational expenses and medical. The Christmas Store’s success helps meet the organizational goals. The primarily fund raising efforts for the HSYC include our PAWSibilities Thrift Shop, Gala, Dog Gone Good Time Festival and our Christmas Store. Of course we do online fundraising per effort which also assists in saving us more. Together and with the amazing collaboration of our community we do just that. We are very proud of the work we do. We work diligently to do what is right for those innocent pets in need.”

The Humane Society of York County Christmas Store is open Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM, Friday from 10:00 AM-6:30 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, and is closed Monday. Face coverings are required for all.

If you have a story or feature in Fort Mill that you would like the Fort Mill Sun to cover, please contact Mitchell Mercer at mitchj2258@gmail.com

Mitchell Mercer

Mitchell Mercer has lived in Fort Mill since 2003 and graduated from Nation Ford High School in 2019. He currently attends Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC and is majoring in English-Communications....