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Emporium proceeds to benefit Action Ministries Gainesville
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Barbara Cavender, right, chats with Peg Stephenson on Friday after her purchases of a dried floral arrangement from Cavender’s booth during the sixth annual Heart & Hands Women’s Ministry Emporium at First Baptist Church.

Sixth annual Heart & Hands Women’s Ministry Emporium

What: Event to benefit Action Ministries Gainesville

Where: First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today

Cost: $5

Contact: 770-534-7354, www.fbcemporium.org

Shoppers spent money for a good cause Friday at the sixth annual Heart & Hands Women’s Ministry Emporium at First Baptist Church in Gainesville.

The event benefits Action Ministries Gainesville this year.

“I haven’t had a chance to do much shopping yet, but I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things coming in and coming out that I want to go in and see,” ministry Executive Director Terri Armour said. “There’s some beautiful wood-working pieces and floral arrangements. There’s lots and lots of beautiful jewelry.”

The event continues today. Money raised will go toward providing emergency financial assistance to families, Armour said.

“We provide financial assistance to those in Gainesville and Hall County who are about to become homeless,” she said. “Our main focus, Action Ministries as a whole, is hunger, housing and education solutions. The money that we receive from this will go toward funding programs in all three of those areas.”

The agency provides aid to about 200 families over a year, she said.

“There are not that many agencies in the community that are able to help and provide assistance — four maybe five — and the needs are so much larger,” Armour said.

Deciding which community group will benefit from the emporium is a team effort, led by the Rev. Jenny Burns, associate pastor of preschool and women’s ministry director at First Baptist.

“Every year, we pick a different local agency. We try to make sure that there are women or children supported because it’s put on by the women’s ministry,” Burns said.

Last year, a $20,000 check was made to The Guest House.

Items for sale at the emporium were an eclectic mix from 72 vendors, including homemade crafts to homemade baked goods. Vendors from across the street to boutiques in Atlanta showed off jewelry, clothes, art and accessories.

Rebecca Kent of Cumming attended her first emporium. She employed her two daughters to help her nab trendy apparel for the weekend show.

“It’s a combination of vintage, new and repurposed,” she said. “I do vintage handbags; I have new handbags. I do the homemade soaps. I repurposed the furniture. ... I just look for unusual things.”

Burns said the mix of items are what makes the shopping experience so fun.

“It’s such a diversity of objects,” she said. “You have everything from somebody who makes caramel apples form an orchard in their farm to someone who purchases clothing and then turns it into beautiful jackets. And I like that it supports local and small business.”

Usually there is a bigger crowd on Saturday, although Burns admitted she was “a little bit worried about the Georgia game influencing it,” she said, referring to today’s college football game against LSU in Athens.

“Come in the morning, before it starts!” she urged to those interested in both.

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