Friday's Handworks Bazaar to benefit Habitat for Humanity project


Dianne Freeze, Carol Lehman, Connie Forde and Lisa Ashmore decorate homemade jellies for the 2017 Handworks Bazaar at Starkville's First United Methodist Church.

Dianne Freeze, Carol Lehman, Connie Forde and Lisa Ashmore decorate homemade jellies for the 2017 Handworks Bazaar at Starkville's First United Methodist Church. Photo by: Courtesy photo


Special to The Dispatch



A soon-to-be-constructed Habitat for Humanity home will benefit from a Nov. 2 Christmas Handworks Bazaar held by Starkville's First United Methodist Church at 200 W. Lampkin St. 


The free event will feature about 35 vendors who have created hand-crafted items such as jewelry, paintings, hand-sewn textiles, pottery, woodwork, specialty food items and home decor. Frozen casseroles and baked goods also will be available, along with sandwiches and sweets for lunch and snacks. 


The Friday event will take place in the church's Christian Life Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 


Additionally, the church will offer paintings by Carole McReynolds Davis, a well-known Starkville artist who died in 2014. Her family provided the collection to be part of the church's fundraising efforts. 




Building up families 


All bazaar proceeds will go to a Habitat for Humanity project to be built in the spring. Erica Rice, 32, a member of the Food and Nutrition Department at OCH Regional Medical Center, has been chosen as the Habitat partner to own the house. She will visit with vendors before the bazaar begins. 


Joel Downey, executive director of Starkville Habitat for Humanity, said the church has been deeply involved in building previous Apostles Houses, most recently in 2014. Apostles Houses are built when a church raises $75,000 for Habitat projects and commits volunteers to assist with construction. 


Bazaar Committee co-chair Suzanne Dressel said that as a covenant partner of Habitat, the church builds a house every four to five years. This is the 13th Handworks Bazaar held to raise funds for Habitat projects. 


"We pay for the materials, provide volunteers at the work site, provide meals for the volunteers, and get to know the family that will be living in the house. The bazaar is our major fundraiser for this event," Dressel said. 


A global nonprofit organization founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, Habitat for Humanity provides individuals with low and moderate income with the opportunity to become homeowners. Each partner must agree to contribute 300 hours of "sweat equity" toward construction, repay a 20-year mortgage, and take three life-improvement classes, including a financial literacy class. 


Rice moved to Starkville when she was 9 years old and lives in a two-bedroom apartment with son Ty, 11, and daughters Ja' Myla, 9, and Ta' Sara, 7. 


"The kids are excited about having their own space, especially my son," she said. The new home will allow her children to play safely in their own yard, having outgrown the small playground at the apartment complex where they live. 


Expressing appreciation to all involved in the bazaar, Rice said she had been trying to get a home for some time but was not financially able. "I had the dream. It is a blessing to become a homeowner," she said. "I appreciate everything they have blessed me and my family with." 


Construction will begin in March at 21 Glenn Lane in Sunset Subdivision. The work will involve church volunteers and out-of-state students in the Collegiate Challenge program, along with others, including Rice. The family should be able to move in about three months later.



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