Hundreds turn out to shop for charity
by Staff Writer
A little rain couldn’t dampen the charitable spirit last weekend as hundreds turned out for the department store-like yard sale in in the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Huntersville.
“Even with weather challenges yesterday, it brought people inside, selling out the bake-sale,” said Jerri Haigler, World Hunger Day publicity chairperson.
The 30th anniversary of World Hunger Day, an annual day developed by First Baptist to raise money to feed the hungry, was held last Saturday, along with live music, a barbecue, a silent auction and craft and bake sales. The event, which has raised around $780,000 since 1981, was originally developed to support the World Hunger Fund, a ministry under the Southern Baptist Convention. Throughout the months leading up to the event, the church collects donated items from the community and sells them at World Hunger Day. That money goes to various charities and missions, many of them local.
Of this year’s proceeds, 50 percent is being donated to Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville and Loaves and Fishes food pantry, which benefits the greater Charlotte region. The other half of the money raised will be donated to a school in Haiti to buy rice and beans for nearly 2,000 students.
This year’s sale raised about $30,000, but money is still being counted.
“Its hard to tell how much was raised since we have more funds coming in,” Haigler said.
There also will be a live auction Sunday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. at the church’s gymnasium, with items such as a new KitchenAid refrigerator and stove, dining room suites, Charlotte Bobcats tickets and Carolina Panther’s tickets. The auction in the church gymnasium, is open to the public.
Haigler said the live auction typically brings in an additional $10,000.
Doug Danner has been the pastor of First Baptist for 13 years. He said World Hunger Day is important because it is such a community-based initiative.
“This is one of the things that really made me excited about First Baptist – that they had such a community outreach. I love how they want to do things that they say they believe,” he said. “There is no arguing about hunger, homelessness or needing clothing – its not Baptist, Methodist or Catholic or anything like that – it’s just a human thing.”
Danner also said community members lined the sidewalk in front of the church before the sale began. He said people continue to come back every year because World Hunger Day is a great opportunity to get clothing, books, furniture, etc., all for reasonable prices, while keeping in mind the mission of the sale – to feed the hungry.
Christy Nixon, a 17-year Huntersville resident has been attending World Hunger Day for 15 years.
“I like knowing that whatever I’ll be getting here is going to such a good cause. If there is something I might not normally buy, I will buy it here. I just love … what they do with the money. It goes to feed the hungry,” Nixon said.
The remaining items from the sale were packed into an 18-wheeler, and will be donated to the Mountain Marketplace Mission in West Virginia, a ministry and community that First Baptist has supported in various ways over the past several years.