Parishioners from St Joseph in Thame felt they would like to start Advent by having a sale of the fruits of their labour, using their own talents to make gifts which could be sold to support CAFOD’s Advent Appeal as well as those in need locally. Theresa Buchanan, the parish volunteer writes:
“Someone had learned bookmaking during lockdown and provided lots of hard-backed and soft cover notebooks; preserve makers (some of them allotment holders) shared their jams and chutneys; bakers made cakes, biscuits and bags of sweets; knitters made fun covers for chocolate oranges, tiny sweet-filled Christmas stockings for the tree, scarves, cushions, glove- and finger-puppets, headbands of all sorts for joggers, girls and babies and lovely cardigans for children; quilters quilted Christmas table mats and runners, tea cozies, bags, pouches, felt gingerbread tree ornaments, lavender bags and sachets, needle cases, Christmas wreaths and bunting; jewelry makers made bracelets; people donated assorted cards, some photographed and printed by the donor’s brother.
There was also a table of cards being sold in aid of Blackfriars Overseas Aid Trust (BOAT), made and sold locally for many years by a member of both parishes.
We had the stalls set up after the three weekend Masses and were flexible with the method of payment which was cash or card (as we had a CAFOD contactless device). This enabled people to spend as much as they liked!
Christmas gift bags and pretty boxes from last year had been donated and we invited our buyers to take one instead of buying a new bag elsewhere. There were also recycled padded envelopes which they could use to take away cards and other fragile items. We still have some goods left which we hope to sell over the weekends of Advent.
The sale was split in CAFOD’s favour and so far we have raised £500 for CAFOD and £200 for local needs.
Makers were encouraged to value what they had made, as the proceeds were going to help others, and parishioners are happy to help worthy causes. There was a recent email within my CAFOD mail with the heading “Poverty doesn’t do Black Friday”. This was added, with a sad face, to the board behind one of the tables.
Apart from being a fundraiser and providing an opportunity for people to shop locally and to reuse what they could, this was a lovely social event for those who worked together on it and, hopefully, for those who came to buy.
Not all of those who made things attend St Joseph’s, but through conversations in the quilt group they certainly know about CAFOD and helped willingly.”
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all those who organised and made items for the stall as well as to those who supported the stall. What a great idea to help our brothers and sisters in need as well as build community.