With the holiday season quickly approaching, a local charitable event will return next Saturday so Manatee County residents can purchase holiday gifts for loved ones while helping local organizations.
Organized by the Kirkwood Presbyterian and Palma Sola Presbyterian churches, the 21st annual Christmas Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 12 at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 6101 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to allow local, national and international nonprofits to come in and showcase who they are and who they serve,” said Carolyn Roskamp, coordinator of missions and outreach at Kirkwood.
Twenty organizations will have holiday booths at this year’s Christmas Market, which has grown from its first year when there were 12 nonprofits featured, Roskamp said.
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“It has grown a lot in that originally there weren’t a lot in the way of decorations,” she said. “We really go out of the way to make it have that Christmas market feel. We really try to educate people that you’re not just coming and writing the check to organizations. You can walk away with wrappable gifts for friends and family.”
For HOPE Seeds, the market allows the organization to raise money but also awareness in the community of who they are, said Bethany Matzke, program manager.
“It’s a great way to give exposure to us about being a local ministry that has a global outreach,” she said.
At the market, people can sponsor a seed packet to be sent to a developing country such as Haiti and East Africa, Matzke said.
“It corresponds right with planting season,” she said. “The monetary value of everything is a win-win.”
This is the fifth year that My Choice Pregnancy Center will have a booth at the market, said Cheryl Houston, the organization’s executive director.
“It is an opportunity as a social service agency to share the type of services and the case management we do within the community,” she said. “Our most effective types of getting the message out are through these types of events.”
During the free event, Boy Scouts Troop 181 will have a grilling booth outside the event, which is new this year. There will also be a children’s market to allow the children to shop for their families.
“We have some affordable gifts for children to do that within their own shop in the market,” Roskamp said. “We wanted to make it inviting for families with children. We are trying to find new ways to reach out and expose what the market is.”
Attendees will not only be able to walk away with a wrappable gift but also help the clients of the nonprofits, Roskamp said.
“It’s an opportunity to learn about a new way to approach gift giving,” she said. “This is a feel good way to give a gift. It’s just a way to give a gift that gives twice.”
Organizations attending 21st Annual Christmas Market
- Bible Mission USA
- Boy Scouts
- Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center
- Crafty Cut Ups
- Feeding Empty Little Tummies
- Foundation for Dreams
- Heifer International
- Hope Family Services
- HOPE Seeds
- J316 Ministries
- Manatee County Habitat for Humanity
- Manatee Sunrise Kiwanis Foundation
- Manasota Operation Troop Support
- My Choice Pregnancy Center
- Selah Freedom
- SOLVE Maternity Homes
- Ten Thousand Villages
- The Haven
- Thornwell Home for Children
- Tidewell Hospice
If you go: 21st Annual Christmas Market
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 12
- Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 6101 Cortez Road W., Bradenton