Old, gracious oak trees spread wide overtop the grounds of John Knox Presbyterian Church in Houston. Though there long before the church began holding services in 1963, the welcoming trees echo the hearts of the congregation within John Knox.
A generous, warm-hearted bunch, the folks at John Knox do a lot to help their community. The church opens its doors year-round to groups like the Girl Scouts, Memorial Assistance Ministries, and Westside Homeless Prevention, to name a few. Additionally, for the last nine years, they’ve held an arts and crafts bazaar.
The idea for the bazaar arose because, as Debbie, Office Manager at John Knox explained, many members of the church are older and on a fixed income. Keen to donate more funds to charity, they came up with a plan to create a fabulous arts and crafts bazaar. Nine years later, the bazaar has evolved into an artisanal wonderland featuring distinctive, high-quality products—from beautiful jewelry, stationery, and wood carvings to quilts, soaps, and birdhouses. Think of it as Etsy in real life, except with delicious food from Houston-area food trucks and, according to Debbie, some of the most delectable, handmade chocolates and toffees ever.
Clearly, treats and treasures are in abundance, but so is the focus on charity. In fact, the event’s sole purpose is to raise money for the charities supported by the congregation. To that end, fees from each of the 90 arts and crafts booths go straight into the donation pot, each artisan donates a piece for the silent auction, and a raffle is held with some really great prizes, including a $1,000 gift card and Astros tickets. Excluding whatever the booths sell and after operating costs, all proceeds are donated. Plus, the church does its best to mitigate costs—after all, the less they spend, the more they can give.
For the upcoming bazaar on September 16, 2017 (more details below), raffle tickets have been one of the ways they’ve cut down on overhead. A local business, Gateway Mortgage Group, sponsored the purchase of the raffle tickets, and Debbie found prices at Eventgroove were a fraction of what they’d used before. Plus, she was thrilled to discover there was a discount for non-profits!
This year, benefits from the bazaar will be gifted to Heifer International, TWRC Wildlife Center, and Westside Homeless Prevention. Past events have earned about $6,000 each, with proceeds divided equally among the charities. In addition to feeling good about making a sizable donation, members of John Knox are uplifted by participating in the fundraising efforts and the act of nurturing a sense of community.
If you’re in the Houston area Saturday, September 16, be sure to swing by John Knox Presbyterian Church, where the doors will be wide open and the oak-tree-shaded lawn will be filled with wonderful handmade goods and food!
TP.com is delighted and honored to be a part of the John Knox Annual Arts & Crafts Charity Bazaar (we also wish we were close enough to get some of those chocolates Debbie mentioned). Best of luck with your fundraising efforts this year—we know it’s going to be a great one!