Goodies, gifts galore: St. Andrew’s presents annual shoppers’ delight Saturday
By Melanie Tucker | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the past couple of months, women at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church have been sewing, knitting, painting, shaping, cutting and creating items for the rest of us to enjoy or give as gifts.
The work is now finished, and it will be on display and for sale at the church’s third annual Bazaar and Bake Sale that takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the church.
Those hand-crafted items will include jewelry, handmade Christmas cards and gift tags, hand-painted wine glasses, decorative baskets, wreaths and other holiday decorations, scarves and even locally made soaps and body cream. There have been as many as 70 talented members of Saint Andrew’s making contributions. At the end of the day, whatever money is collected will go directly to a local charity. This year it will be Good Neighbors of Blount County. Recipients in the past have included Habitat for Humanity, Community Food Connection and Family Promise of Blount County.
A popular event
Marialice Ellis has been one of the organizers for this annual event. It was held decades ago and then put on hiatus before the church decided to bring it back. Participation from church members has been amazing, she said. They have been able to raise more than $5,000 for the designated charity each year.
How do they do it?
“We just ask people,” Ellis plainly pointed out. There are people in her midst who have talents they want to share, especially at this time of year and also because of the outreach.
There should be something for just about everyone. If you’ve already done your holiday shopping, maybe you need to pick up a few things for the Thanksgiving table — like some pies, cakes, cookies or breads. Margaret Butler is in charge this year of the bake sale portion of the event. She said these wonderful bakers can take the workload off for those of us who are letting this holiday slip up on us.
The sale will take place in the church’s Great Hall, an addition that was opened in 2005. The spacious and light-filled room will be full of 20 tables of crafts and goodies.
New things to see, buy
New this year, Ellis said, are vintage linens and quilts. There are also a few vintage Madame Alexander dolls that have been donated.
Butler makes a body cream that she calls “Baby Your Body” cream. Someone else makes the handmade soaps and a body scrub.
Set up for this holiday extravaganza was taking place on Wednesday. Ellis said most all of the work was done. That’s thanks to some weekly workshops where the artists and craft makers came together to assemble all the items.
“The workshops were held on Wednesdays for the past two months,” Ellis said. “We all came together to learn something new. Everybody contributes.”
So call them Santa’s elves, they won’t mind. They are hoping shoppers come out on Saturday morning to buy things they won’t see at large retail stores. And shoppers can feel good about where their money is going. Good Neighbors offers some financial help to those in this community who have lost their jobs or are just in need of some extra help in this economy. The nonprofit also has a counseling program to help these families see their way to a better future.
So if you hunger for a pumpkin pie, need to find a mother-in-law gift or want some new holiday decor, stop by Saint Andrew’s on Saturday. The clock is ticking — Christmas is less than six weeks away.