Spring Bazaar raises funds for Union Independent School

By Carlton Koonce
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

Tables full of hats and dishes, racks stuffed with business suits and blouses, and mats holding a seemingly endless variety of shoes awaited browsers of a Saturday morning yard sale held by Union Baptist Church in Northeast Central Durham.

Fungai Bennett looks over clothes for sale at Union Baptist Church’s Spring Bazaar. Photo by Carlton Koonce.

Church committees and members recently held their first Spring Bazaar yard sale inside the gym of Union Independent School to raise funds for the private kindergarten to second grade institution.

About twenty volunteers including the church’s Samaritan Men Ministry, Senior Missionary Circle, Girl Scout troop, and the Union Baptist Church Economic Ministry all chipped in their time and effort selling items for the fundraiser.

“We still haven’t come up with a total because people are still calling with donations,” said Sharon Coleman of the Union Baptist Church Economic Ministry. “But our first spring bazaar was a success.”

The UBC Economic Ministry is a church organization that holds workshops and financial empowerment seminars for church members and works with community sponsors to make sure their finances are in order.

“We try to do one major fundraiser for the school each year,” said Coleman. “In 2008 the church had people donate spare change that they had to raise money. Last year each ministry in the church raised $10,000 for the school.”

“However, we’re hoping to make the spring bazaar an annual event,” said Coleman.

Wendy Rountree has only been a member of Union Baptist Church since January 2009 but said that members and non-members make pledge donations to the school from time to time.

Tables lined around the gymnasium and spaces carved out on the floor held the various items being sold. All of the items came from church members and supporters of UBC. Rountree worked the “knick-knack” table at the event.

“Knick-knacks are objects that are primarily used in the house as decorations,” said Rountree. “A wide variety of items were sold at the indoor yard sale including shoes, children’s clothing and toys, women’s and men’s apparel, electronics, housewares, and baked goods.”

Rountree said while working on this project she met staff members that worked hard and cared greatly about the school and its students.

“Church members have a stack in the community because that is where the church is located,” she said.

Jacqueline Alford was born in Durham and arrived at 8 a.m. to help sell glassware and silverware at the bazaar. She said she had been a member of UBC since 2006.

Jacqueline Alford arranges glassware. Photo by Carlton Koonce.

Alford is proud to help the school.

“It’s a great thing for the community,” said Alford. “It’s working out great for students, parents and everyone involved.”

Coleman agrees that UIS helps the neighborhood in great ways.

“It’s a vision of hope providing opportunity for children in NECD that they wouldn’t normally have,” said Coleman.

“Some of those children would not have this opportunity. It gives them a chance to excel,” she said.

Fungai Bennett worked selling clothing apparel and said she has been a member of UBC for four years.

“The church has been talking about the school for a long time,” said Bennett who is originally from Dayton, Ohio.

“It feels awesome to give opportunities for these kids,” she said. “They’re doing great things over there.”

Many of the volunteers at the spring bazaar echoed the same emotions about having UIS in the community.

“I believe the church and school will continue to grow because each is meeting the needs of the community,” she said. “I believe that is one of the main purposes of churches and schools – to directly and positively impact the lives of people in the community.”

Rountree said she enjoyed herself because she knew they were all working for a great cause by funding the school.

“All proceeds go directly to the school,” said Coleman. “We look forward to working with the community and we thank them and members of Union Baptist Church for coming out with support.”