The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most expensive time of the year. Not every family can afford mountains of presents, extravagant dinners, or warm clothing, but with the help of Stockings of Love, Christmas Bazaar, and Victory Baptist Church, not every family needs money to enjoy a wonderful holiday season.
Year round, the Stockings of Love Ministries works to provide families with clothing, food, and supplies using assets earned from various fundraisers, and Saturday, Nov. 18's Christmas Bazaar is one of the most anticipated of those events.
Held at 15 Hendrix Road, Rockmart's Victory Baptist Church has a lineup of over 60 vendors, a slew of crafts for sale, a variety of Christmas décor, and numerous gift items that, with each sale, pump money towards the group's community dinner, holiday program, gift opening, and clothing giveaway.
Doors to Christmas Bazaar open from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., and admission is free for any and all. Those looking to simply chat with friends and neighbors aren't expected to pay a cent, but those looking for crafts, gifts, and food will have plenty of opportunities to spend some cash. Available food will include homemade baked goods, apple butter, local honey, canned items, and much more. Breakfast and lunch plates will be served for $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Plates include BBQ sandwiches, slaw, baked beans, and dessert. Brunswick stew and homemade potato chips are an alternative.
"The vendors are a combination of Thirty-One and LuLaRoe, among others. There's lots of crafts and homemade goods too," Victory Baptist Church Administrative Assistant Tressie Wilson said. "Last year we helped 65 families and gave away a total of 375 stockings. We had 200 kids at the community dinner."
Saturday, Dec. 9 is when the ministry and the church host the community dinner. While everyone is invited to eat, youth who apply are also given a chance to watch the holiday program before receiving toys from a stocking and getting to pick out clothing from the church's available wardrobe.
"You can just show up for the dinner, but only those receiving help from the Stockings Ministry get to watch the program and gets toys and clothing," Wilson said. "The program is a drama, the kids get to play games on stage, they get a free t-shirt, and they listen to the pastor speak. At the end, they get to go into the clothing section and get what they like."
Applications for Stockings of Love can be picked up inside Victory Baptist Church on Mondays from 1 through 3 p.m. All forms must be completed within the month of November, and only dependents and minors will be considered. Those already receiving financial assistance from any other government, private, church, or ministry will not be approved.