FBC Vernon holds free yard sale for families at Christmascomment (0)
December 22, 2011
By Darla Brantley
Christmas can be a tough time for families on a tight budget. So First Baptist Church, Vernon, has found a way to help ease that burden.
The Lamar Baptist Association church hosted its second free yard sale Dec. 10 in its fellowship hall and invited the community to shop for clothes, books, toys, home décor and other household items.
Nearly 200 shoppers attended the yard sale, which saw its offerings nearly wiped out only 30 minutes after the doors were opened.
The yard sale was suggested by Pastor Clyde Stevens. “Years ago, I read about a church up North holding a similar event and thought it was a great idea,” he said. “I let it be known to the church members and they ran with it.”
Pat Davis organized the event, enlisting donations from church members and recruiting volunteers to work and cleanup.
“It’s a great way to reach out to the community,” she said. “In a lot of areas, it is a needed ministry, and it’s very simple and easy to do. There are a lot of people without work, and this is a way to give back to the community and a way for people to get Christmas presents.”
The event was purposefully scheduled to coincide with the Christmas season, and many shoppers were grateful for the opportunity to find presents and other needed items without having to stretch their already thin budgets.
“We are in a rough patch right now,” shopper Misty Stockman said. “Being able to find some clothes has been a blessing.”
Sharon Hudson understood.
“I have five kids from little children to teenagers, and I get a check once a month,” she said while holding a cardboard box full of clothes. “I’ve been able to find clothes for the kids.”
Volunteers shared several stories about particularly moving moments when shoppers found the perfect presents for loved ones.
Trina Sudduth, wife of Student Minister Kevin Sudduth, managed the gift-wrapping station, which was an added attraction to the yard sale this year. A little girl asked Sudduth to wrap a pantsuit. She told Sudduth how good the outfit would look on her mother.
Church secretary Sue Allen shared about a little girl who found a devotional book. She asked how to use the book. Allen explained it is a tool to help a person read the Bible each day. The little girl smiled and told Allen that her mother would love it.
Davis shared about a young woman who got a set of dinner plates for her grandmother and how a woman gathered nearly all the stuffed animals available to give to residents of the local nursing home.
Stevens couldn’t be more pleased with the yard sale’s outcome, noting that all church members help with the event by donating items to be “sold” as well as gift-wrapping supplies.
“I think this sale is our best local mission,” he said.
Stevens also uses the event as an outreach tool by passing out tracts and befriending shoppers.
“We’re just getting to know the people,” he said, noting that some of the shoppers do not attend church at all. “We’re getting them familiar with us and letting them know our church is here for them.”