An annual holiday event that showcases the efforts of Historic Northeast’s Sheffield Place also helps the residents learn new skills to supplement their income.
The main facility at 6604 E. 12th St. houses mothers and children that have experienced homelessness and other traumas while providing tools and services to help them be self-sufficient.
On Wednesday, December 6, the facility will host their annual Open House & Holiday Bazaar. The event, now in its ninth year, will showcase their facility and programs and give those who attend a chance to shop for handcrafted items that display the hidden talents of the mothers and children involved with Sheffield Place.
“The Holiday Bazaar was started because our team members were looking for opportunities for the moms to learn microenterprise skills. The agency started a loan process for the bazaar which gives the women a little bit of introduction on how to supplement income with a small scale enterprise,” explained Stephanie Hoover,
Development Manager at Sheffield Place.
A loan of $50 to $75 dollars allows the moms to purchase materials for their selected crafts. After the bazaar, they will pay back half the money loaned and also keep all the proceeds from sold items. The participants choose the items they want to create, usually using online platforms such as Pinterest or TikTok to gather ideas and instructions.
Resident Isabel Ramirez, mother of seven, is participating in the bazaar for her second time. Last year, she used clear wine and champagne glasses to create a snow globe decoration that also held a candle. This year, she decided to create wreaths.
“I spent $66 at Dollar Tree to get enough to make 2, maybe 3 wreaths,” said Ramirez. Her first wreath, completed while she attended to her youngest daughter, now two months old, took about two hours to create. Wrapped in red tinsel garland, the wreath features red and gold ball ornaments, bows, and a little straw owl. To compensate for the cost of materials and her time, she expects to sell her creations for $40 to $50.
Other items expected to be available include ornaments, paintings, and sugar scrubs, while one mother is repeating Ramirez’s craft from last year, the wine glass snow globe candle holder.
With a family of girls, Ramirez finds that crafts are a good way to entertain her kids. “When they visit, they like to dig into my craft basket. I draw, paint, and like to see what I can create from things people might throw away,” she said. Ramirez entered the program at Sheffield Place so she could be reunited with her six older children, ages 10 through 2. She expects for her final wreath creation, her oldest daughter will be able to help her. Other crafty mothers are usually assisted by their children, when possible. Project Hope, the children’s program at Sheffield Place, will also have items the kids made for sale during the bazaar.
Seventeen families currently live in the main facility, another seven are housed in Sheffield Place’s additional nearby facilities. Hoover expects between eight to ten moms will participate in the Holiday Bazaar this year.
Ramirez has already sold her first wreath, so it won’t be available for sale during the bazaar. She has considered making additional items to sell outside of the event, on an online marketplace such as Etsy, which Hoover and other staff greatly encourage them to try.
The Open House & Holiday Bazaar will take place on Wednesday, December 6, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. For more information about Sheffield Place and its programs, visit www.sheffieldplace.org or call 816-483-9927.