It is 6:30am and the line has already started to form. Groups of shoppers are going through their lists, and mapping out their strategies for the day. “Should we go to the furniture rooms or shop for clothes first? Maybe we should get something to eat first and then shop!” The excitement is tangible. First time shoppers are rubbing shoulders with Bazaar Veterans who have been coming for five, ten, or possibly as many as thirty five years. There is nothing quite like the Fall Bazaar in the High Country…or maybe anywhere!
Welcome to one of the largest sale events in the area. Although the preparations begin months before, the Bazaar is open on the 3rd weekend in September. Truly, it is like nothing you have seen before. On the Sunday before the bazaar, members come together to unload the two tractor trailers where donated items have been collected. People will be carrying stuff to every room of the church – electronics, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, books, linens, furniture, elegant junque and children’s items. It looks like a bunch of worker ants scurrying from place to place. On Monday the fun begins! Volunteers work all week long to sort the piles of “stuff”, and organize them into a visually appealing shopping venue and then price each item. Lunchtime is a great time for all the volunteers to gather, get acquainted and share stories of their areas. There are some great stories. By the end of the week, you have made lots of new friends who are just as tired as you are, but also excited about the actual sales event.
When the doors open on Friday morning, people from all over the High Country, Tennessee, Florida and even South Carolina start to pour in. Individuals from all walks of life can find just the right treasure at the bazaar. And there are lots of treasures.
It is a blessing to be a part of this week-long experience that contributes to so many charitable organizations and individuals in the High Country and helps pay down the church’s mortgage. The best part is all the new friends that you make from working at the Bazaar. This event builds deep and lasting relationships throughout our church family. There is a job for everyone regardless of your abilities. The older ladies in the church are busy with sorting the jewelry and polishing the silver. You will see young mothers working beside seasoned grandmothers. Some of our members even schedule their vacation in order to enjoy the fellowship. You are invited to get involved in the Bazaar. If you aren’t sure what area to volunteer in, just contact Doris Thompson, our fearless leader, and she will be sure to find just the right spot for you. You will be so glad you did.
The History of the Fall Bazaar
The first Fall Bazaar began in 1984 in the Fellowship Hall of the church which was located on King Street. A Turkey Dinner was served to church members and the community. This event raised $8,000 which was used to buy furniture for the Parsonage. As years passed, members became more involved and started donating items and making items to sell in addition to the meal. The Fall Bazaar became a big event for the Church and Community with the proceeds benefiting many local agencies and church debt reduction.
Outreach of the Fall Bazaar
Gift Cards are given to the social workers of the schools in Watauga, Avery and Ashe County, as well as, the Hospitality House and other local agencies. You can help by purchasing a card for us to distribute or you can give them to someone that you know is in need.
Although the main purpose of the Fall Bazaar is to reduce the debt on our building, many others benefit as well. Below is a list of some of the agencies within our community that benefited from the Bazaar:
Salvation Army – Children’s Winter Coats
Children’s Council – Children’s Books
Watauga County Health Dept – Baby/Young Children’s Clothes and Sleeping Gear (pack & plays, bassinets, etc.)
OASIS – Women’s Coats & Warm Clothing, Children’s Shoes/Boots
Hunger Coalition – Men’s & Women’s Career Clothing
Hospitality House – Towels, Bed Linens, Blankets, Kitchen Items
Humane Society – Blankets, Towels
Boone Area Missions – Long Sleeve Men’s Shirts for Migrant Workers
Hebron Colony – Many Items of Clothing and Furniture
– A special need was made known, and we were able to provide two young students in Avery County with coats and other clothing for the cold winter.
– Quote from a former teacher at Hardin Park: “You have no idea what the Bazaar means to the community. To see the young children come to school on Monday morning with big smiles on their faces because they have new clothes that were gotten at the Bazaar.”
– From Mary Metzger: “Just wanted to let you all know that this morning the clothes that were given and purchased at the bazaar are now alive and well and walking the streets of St. Pete with smiles. Had quite a morning with the homeless who all seemed to need clothes. Ralph, the jeans you gave me are the perfect size for a sweet man who is trying desperately to regain his life by staying sober. He told me that he has given his life to God and knows that God wants him to change. Please keep him in your prayers as he walks in your jeans (his name is Vance).
It did my heart good to see them all come into the lunch room with their new shirts on: App State, Go Mountaineers, Panthers, Blowing Rock Marathon, etc. Loved it! The socks I bought (an entire $10 bag) are completely gone as well as the underwear since that’s something most people don’t think to give them. So, when you put on your underwear and socks, remember to be grateful!!!”
© 2015 Boone United Methodist