Amos Kwon sold hand-made items at the first-ever Hidden Talents Craft Fair. The fair raised money to support relief efforts in Ukraine. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Funds will benefit Ukrainians in need, purchase winter clothing and supplies Microfiber Towel
A Langley pastor’s efforts in engaging the community and raising money for the people of Ukraine resulted in the collection of more than $7,000.
When Brad Sumner was planning Jericho Ridge Community Church’s first-ever Hidden Talents Craft Fair, he was looking for ways to engage kids and, at the same time, support relief efforts in Ukraine. The idea later expanded, and crafters of all ages – from those as young as preschoolers to grandmothers – expressed their interest in joining the church for a cause.
The crafters brought crocheted dishcloths in Ukraine’s flag colours, hand-made ornaments, Christmas wreaths, gift tags, cards, jewelry and toques, wood carvings, paintings, and so much more. Together, they sold hundreds of items and raised $7,217.50 in just one morning.
Sumner said the response “blew” him away.
The Sunday, Dec. 4 fair benefitted ‘He Had Compassion,’ a charitable organization started by a church member after his visit to war-stricken Ukraine earlier this year.
“The [church member] saw first-hand how people had fled from the eastern parts of the country in the summer months with only the clothes on their backs and now were under-prepared for the harsh winter that lies ahead,” shared Sumner.
Moved by their struggle, Sumner, along with ‘He Had Compassion, ’ thought of raising money to help non-profits in Ukraine purchase winter clothing and supplies for people in need.
Although the Sunday event was the church’s first-ever craft fair fundraiser, they have been in touch with Ukrainian non-profits for years.
So far, the church has participated in the distribution of more than 50 tons of food, water, medicine, and hygiene supplies to communities in and around Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia.
“And we are just getting started,” commented Sumner.
Members of He Had Compassion are planning another trip to Ukraine soon.
Sumner said he wants the people of Ukraine to know that their “friends” in Langley are with them. On their next visit, the group will take crocheted stuffed animals from the craft fair as tangible expressions of that friendship.
In addition, the church members are open to hosting Ukrainian families as they have done in the past.
“We had the wonderful privilege of hosting a family from Ukraine earlier this year and now that they are back in western Ukraine and seeing and sharing the needs on the ground, we felt even more compelled to help and support their efforts in a practical way,” said Sumner. “Jericho has a strong history of working with displaced persons so this feels like it is just part of our DNA,” he concluded.
Those interested in donating can visit www.hehadcompassion.org.
RELATED: Langley-based church sends $50,000 to aid Ukrainian refugees
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