Looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping? The Trinity Thrift Store in Lehighton is hosting its semi-annual Christmas Sale this weekend, featuring hundreds of holiday and all-season items. All proceeds will benefit local families in the community.

While this will be a tough holiday season for many families this year, "our prices are very low," said Kay Patterson, Trinity Thrift Store manager.

"We have a lot of things that are brand new, and a lot of things that are gently used."

She encouraged shoppers to stop by Trinity's Luther Hall on Third and Iron streets on Saturday or Tuesday to check out the sale. This year's sale will feature indoor and outdoor decorations, ornaments and lights, jewelry, knick-knacks, stuffed animals, candles, angels, all-season clothing, and household items. Artificial trees and a large selection of wreaths are also for sale.

For families on a budget, "This is a way to help them (with holiday shopping) and to help the community," added Patterson.

While previous sales have benefited the Trinity Pantry, this year's proceeds will go to both the pantry and individual families in need. Through outreach programs, Trinity receives requests from several families each month in need of financial assistance. As the area's economy continues to struggle, the number of families needing help has grown.

The Trinity Pantry is also in desperate need of support. The pantry now feeds about 400 families per month, preventing local families of all ages and sizes from going hungry. The winter months tend to be hard on the pantry, because higher heating and electricity bills cause more families to need assistance.

"Lots of people are asking for help," she said. "It's a new high for us."

More than a dozen volunteers spent the day before Thanksgiving preparing for the sale, sorting through items and displaying them throughout Luther Hall. The Thrift Store and Pantry rely heavily on volunteers, and there are no paid workers. The Thrift Shop also depends on community donations to make both the Christmas Sale and weekly Thrift Store possible.

"We do appreciate the community's support," said Patterson. She noted that the Thrift Store has seen many new families coming in to shop, and that many local families have taken the time to bring donations to the Thrift Store. Appropriate items are collected and stored throughout the year in preparing for the Christmas Sale.

"We work all year for this," said Patterson. "Come and support your local community."

The Christmas sale will take place on Saturday, Nov. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church's Luther Hall.