The Cornerstone Community Church hosted the Hope for Haiti Craft, Vendor and Bake sale on Saturday in Cambridge.
The annual indoor event, which has been running for the past five years, provided the opportunity for the local community to learn about the unique challenges people in Haiti face on a daily basis and to contribute towards raising funds to help children there. From handicrafts, to Christmas ornaments, to pain relief socks, the event offered a wide variety of items.
According to event organizer Sue Burnside, vendors came not only from the Kitchener-Waterloo region, but also from Hamilton and Brantford.
Sue’s husband, Dan Burnside, said that the proceeds from the event will go towards helping a missionary couple in Haiti.
“They have been there for 22 years. They have a school, church and a feeding program. The school has over 750 kids. The focus of the event is the education of the children,” Dan told Spoke.
“In Haiti kids have to pay for school. If you do not get an education you are stuck in the circle of poverty. Thirty-three per cent of the [Haitian] population is under the age of 15.”
Lily Corkill was visiting with her mother Susan Corkill. Lilly, who participated as a vendor the previous year, spoke about her ambitions.
“I intend to go to Haiti in March of next year. This event provides me with the opportunity to work towards that goal. I will be going for a week. I want to experience the work first hand. My ambition is to become a teacher,” she said.
Janice Sneath was attending the event with her daughter Eden. Ms. Sneath said she has come to the event every single year.
“I will definitely go to Haiti in the future. I would like to show them kindness. I would like to work in the school and connect with the kids and improve their lives,” Eden said of her future goals.
“We are trying to raise funds so we can produce more kits,” said Bernice Gammy from DAYS FOR GIRLS KITCHENER, a charity that makes washable, reusable sanitary kits for girls in poor countries. “The girls miss school because they have no protection. One kit would last a girl for three years. These kits are the difference between them getting an education and having a future as opposed to living a life of hopelessness.”
The event also provided a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses. One such vendor was Tash Burnside, owner and operator of craft dealer Sisters of the Hook. The business made its debut at this event in 2014.
“My mom used to vend in craft sales and I would help her. I knew we could make a business out of this. Since I had a background in it, I and my sister decided to take the leap,” Burnside said.
Lee Pryke and Karen Toth with VOXXLIFE – a company that specializes in wearables that help the body heal naturally – were attending the event for the first time. Pryke had extra motivation to attend the event.
“There are a lot of nice people here. I have adopted a little girl in Peru, and I support her family,” Pryke told Spoke.
Over 200 people attended the event this year.