Vendors, school supplies needed for Aug 28 OCC vendor fair

Claudia Loucks
Shelly Emerick, left; and Mercedes Bealer, representing Operation Christmas Child, show samples of shoeboxes containing school supplies. Emerick said there is a need for more school supplies to be included in this year’s shoeboxes. There is also a need for vendors for the Operation Christmas Child Craft & Vendor Fair to be Saturday, Aug. 28, in Geneseo City Park.

Additional vendors are needed for the upcoming Craft & Vendor Fair to benefit Operation Christmas Child.

According to Shelly Emerick, who helped organize the first-ever Vendor Fair, there is sufficient space for additional vendors to join the effort. The annual Fair is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28 in Geneseo City Park.

In addition to vendors for the Fair, Emerick said there is also a need for donations of school supplies to be included in the shoeboxes.

“Donations of school supplies can be left at the OCC booth at the Park on Aug. 28 during the Vendor Fair or left between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday at Grace United Methodist Church, (318 North Center St., Geneseo),” she said, and explained there is a need for school crayons, notebook paper, markers, colored pencils, pens, erases and school scissors.

“The Fair will feature a variety of vendors and crafters, and there is still plenty of room fro more,” Emerick said. Anyone interested in participating should contact Courtney Morrison, 309-373-5236; or Mercedes Bealer, 309-269-4294.

Vendors already signed up for the Fair include Better with Glitter,

Scentsy Fragrance, Beyond the Paint Color Street, Vintage Farm-ish, A Spotted Apron, Out Yonder Boutique, Apples and Oranges Woodworking, Carla’s Crafts and Usbourne Books, Perfectly Posh, Pop of the Morning Popcorn, Davidson Games, Tupperware, M&J Crafts and Blowing Bubbles Soapery.

In addition to vendors, the day will include raffle drawings for items donated by the participating vendors and local businesses.

There also will be a food truck at the event, “The Big Cheese Food Truck,” with the food mechanic Doug Lear who will be offering food items for sale.

“Profits from hosting the Fair and from the raffles will be used to help cover shipping costs for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes,” Emerick said, explaining many times people donate shoeboxes filled with items, but not the $9 which covers shipping costs as well as “The Greatest Gift” booklets, which are packed in each shoebox and written in the language of the child receiving the shoebox.

Empty shoeboxes will be available at the Vendor Fair for anyone who would like to take a shoebox and fill it with items.

“We cannot use anything glass, liquid, camouflage or war-related, or any type of food,” Emerick said. But there is a need for bar soap, sports bottles, combs, brushes, toothbrushes, ;

Operation Christmas Child is an outreach of Samaritan Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. The non-profit organization specializes in meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, disease and natural disaster, in order to demonstrate God’s love and share the Gospel.

Collection Week will be from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22 at Geneseo Evangelical Free Church, with specific times to be announced.