As we settle into 2021, we would again like to thank all who participated in the 2020 Virtual Christmas Bazaar. This inaugural event was a first for us, but we are blessed to have the support of the congregation and the community at large to raise funds for a worthy cause.
Our efforts this winter included the online pre-order pecan and wreath sales, online auction and gift sales tables for in-person shopping on November 28. Bulk greens were also available for donations in our outdoor courtyard from November 28 to December 19 and were well received for a creative decoration for the holidays. Phone orders with an online “catalogue” of gifts helped with sales when the December 5 blizzard limited travel for shopping. No-contact pick-ups or delivery of items meant even those most isolated were able to participate.
Proceeds benefited the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry’s Neighbor Safety Net Fund. This fund was designed to fill the financial gap that many local families are experiencing because of the coronavirus. From lost wages to expensive childcare, many are struggling.
Thanks to the generosity of the Storrs Congregational Church community, a total of $2,600 was donated to WAIM. WAIM Executive Director Victoria Nimirowski said the donation was “fantastic.”
“We try to be as generous with the disbursements as possible,” Victoria said. “It will go to somebody who needs it.
Former senior minister Rev. Matthew Emery and bazaar event coordinators Pam Roberts and Annetta Miller recently gave Victoria the check.
According to early estimates from Victoria, 135 families have been helped between March and November.
“We’ve spent about $71,000 and still have about $50,000 to use,” Victoria said. “We are very happy to have that left. We don’t know when the next shoe will drop. Nobody knows what the future need is going to be.”
Pam commended the numerous volunteers and thanked all who shopped and supported the event. She noted, “We did something fun together none of us could have done alone. We did it modeling how to safely modify a traditional event with success in spite of the pandemic.”
Pictures from the bazaar events are available on the SCC Facebook Page.