MYRTLE BEACH — Those in the Myrtle Beach area who are in need will be the ultimate beneficiaries of a Christmas Bazaar, BBQ and Coat Drive being held Saturday at First United Methodist Church.
In its third year, the event – held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – will feature nearly 60 vendors as well as a barbecue, bake sale hosted by the First United Women’s Mission and a coat drive. A portion of the money raised from vendor registration will go to local schools to purchase shoes, socks and underwear for children who need it, said Amy Flora, event organizer and spokeswoman for the church.
“It’s an outreach [program] and it’s a ministry to so many different people. … There are so many people in the community that can be helped,” Flora said. “I want to make sure that [people] know that this is a church with a heart in the heart of Myrtle Beach.”
Last year, First United donated about $600 in the form of Wal-Mart gift cards to Myrtle Beach Primary School to be used to purchase personal items that the students needed.
“It’s fabulous to be able to help these children who need the assistance,” said principal Cecelia Nance.
Nance said often families who are new to the area need a little help getting on their feet. She said as a Title I school, Myrtle Beach Primary receives funds to pay for school supplies, but it’s the basic things that her students need.
Myrtle Beach Primary is one of at least two schools to benefit from Saturday’s bazaar. Flora said she hopes also to be able to give money to Myrtle Beach Elementary and one or two additional schools.
In addition to donating money to local schools, the event serves as an opportunity to stock the church’s clothes closet. Those with new or gently-used coats are asked to drop them off at the church during the bazaar. First United opens its clothes closet to the community from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and serves about 100 people each week.
Flora said the church collected about 200 coats last year and hopes to double that amount on Saturday.
“It puts [the clothes closet] in a better position [to go] into the colder season,” she said.
Barbecue sandwiches made by church members will be available for $5 and include chips, a pickle and drinks.
Vendors offering goods ranging from jewelry to makeup to food will set up inside and outside at First United and Flora said there’s a benefit to having so many different types of things in one area.
“They can complete their shopping in one day in one place,” she said.
Contact reporter MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.