Heart & Hands Emporium
What: To benefit The Guest House
Where: First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today
Contact: 770-534-7354, www.fbcemporium.org
Who knew shopping could help so many people?
For the last five years, the Heart & Hands Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Church of Gainesville has held a two-day shopping extravaganza to benefit a local nonprofit group.
Proceeds from this year’s Heart & Hands Emporium go to benefit The Guest House, an adult day health service.
Beth Sinquefield of Murrayville wandered around the church’s banquet hall Friday to see what more than 70 vendors had for sale. She said she likes to visit the emporium every year because she can find unique items and gifts.
“I’m actually scouting today and then I’ll come back with my friend tomorrow,” Sinquefield said laughing.
Sinquefield said that as a former employee of The Guest House, the emporium has a special importance to her this year.
The items for sale vary from unique knickknacks to savory snacks. Several vendors offer handmade jewelry and accessories while others sell children’s toys and clothes.
“It’s a little bit of everything, really,” said the Rev. Jenny Burns, women’s ministry director.
Profits from ticket sales, bake sales and vendor fees will go to benefit The Guest House. Burns said the group aims to raise at least $19,000 for the nonprofit.
“From the way today (Friday) has gone, with as many shoppers we should be able to meet that goal,” Burns said.
Last year, between 1,500 and 2,000 shoppers attended the event. Burns said she hopes to bring in 3,000 shoppers this year this year.
Nearly 200 people volunteered to help with the event.
Dana Chapman, executive director of The Guest House, said being chosen as the beneficiary came at the perfect time.
She said the funds that come from the emporium fundraiser will go toward helping the nonprofit pay for a new building. The Guest House is currently located in a housing authority building and its lease has nearly expired.
The nonprofit has reached capacity at its current location and is seeking a piece of property to build its own facility. Chapman said building a facility will be more economical and will ensure the organization will be in compliance with Medicare regulations.
The nonprofit will need to relocate in the next year.
“We had been working on other ideas like grants to get this done and this came along and it was like magic,” Chapman said.