With the holiday season around the corner, one local church is gearing up to spread some festive cheer while also helping those in need.
Located at 19 Cameron St. in Collingwood, the leadership and congregation at Hope Chapel sees the church as a centre for community care, and its efforts extend far beyond its regular church congregation. This Saturday, the chapel is hosting its first-ever Christmas Craft Sale to raise funds for its community cupboard.
“We welcome the community to this fun event with a worthwhile cause,” said Jane Peck, the lead pastor at Hope Chapel.
Run in conjunction with the Mobile Soup Kitchen, the chapel’s community cupboard provides support to those in need by offering not just food items but also clothing, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and more, all free of charge.
It also offers items that some might take for granted, like coffee or laundry detergent.
"Things that none of us would want to live without," said Peck.
However, the demand for items has been steadily increasing, and the shelves were left bare in October. Thanks to support from the community, the church received $2,700 in monetary donations, as well as an overwhelming number of in-kind donations of food, toiletries and clothing to restock the cupboard at the time.
“We had a number of very generous people help us restock, but it’s an ongoing need,” she said.
To continue to meet the increasing demand, the chapel decided to organize the craft sale as an opportunity for the community to come together, enjoy the festive spirit, and contribute to a great cause.
The craft sale is open to all, and the chapel is still welcoming vendors to participate. Vendor applications can be found on their website, and the cost of a vendor table is $40, with all proceeds going directly to the community cupboard.
There are currently seven vendors signed up, but Peck said the chapel hopes to see more join in to make the event even more successful.
She also said the chapel is going the extra mile to ensure the success of the vendors.
"We want the vendors to be able to focus on what they are selling, that's not how we want to make money, it needs to be a good opportunity for them as well," she said.
The chapel group will offer a cafeteria-style lunch and baked goods, with 100 per cent of the proceeds from the baked goods sales going toward the community cupboard.
The program first started in 2020 and has evolved with the changing needs of the community to become what it is now.
“We only have one rule,” said Peck, “if you need it and you see it, you can take it. But make sure it’s something that you need.”
However, despite the church spending roughly $400 a week of its own funds, it’s still not enough.
Peck said Hope Chapel is actively seeking creative ways to raise funds to help those in need. If the craft sale is a success, they plan to make it an annual event.
"We are putting effort and getting creative to think of different ways we can raise money and help people,” said Peck. “If the craft sale goes well, we will do it again for sure."
The Christmas Craft Sale will take place at Hope Chapel on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more details or to apply as a vendor, visit the chapel’s website.