Windham Hill United Church of Christ (WHUCC) at 140 Windham Center Road will be the host to an Artisan Craft Fair on Saturday, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. where everything from jams and jellies to wood crafts and other hand-made products will be available for purchase.
This craft fair is slightly different than most. It has a purpose and a goal other than the sale of crafts.
The mission board at WHUCC has been working with an organization, referred to as H.O.M.E., to help low-income and homeless families sell products they have made themselves. “We have been working with H.O.M.E. since around 2006, not only hosting craft shows and food drives, but also going up to H.O.M.E. and cooking community suppers and doing work projects,” stated Sally Colegrove, pastor of WHUCC.
H.O.M.E. is the acronym for Homeworkers Organized for More Employment. According to its website, “It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 dedicated to keeping and enhancing the quality of life for low-income and homeless families. Through services, stewardship of resources, and shared responsibility, we aim to bring forth new possibilities for food, jobs, shelter, low-income housing, education, and self-sufficiency. In addition to building skills used in the job setting, H.O.M.E. also enjoys the responsibility of educating people on issues vital to sustaining an equitable society.” H.O.M.E. is located in Orland, ME and is founded by Sister Lucy Poulin.
H.O.M.E. provides a multitude of services for the Orland Community and beyond. One of the many services includes the operation of six shelters in Hancock County. H.O.M.E. also offers production space for crafters to work on their projects. The facilities are located on the H.O.M.E. campus where Maine crafts such as weaving, ceramics, leather work, stained glass and stitchery are created and sold. A daycare is also offered on campus, providing the adult crafter an opportunity to work on their project while their children are in a fun and educational environment.
The items are sold at the store on campus as well as at craft fairs around New England, much like the one that will be held at WHUCC on Saturday.
“The crafters are folks who work at other jobs as well in the Orland Area, but can’t make ends meet and so make traditional Maine crafts to augment their income,” Pastor Colegrove explained.
Janie Brown, member of the WHUCC and organizer of the event, stated that there are many crafters who bring their items to sell and the number of crafters varies from year to year, but there are always beautiful homemade crafts available for purchase.
Not only does the sale of these projects go toward the individual crafter themselves, but funds made also go toward other necessary expenses. “The money made from this fair is one of the many ways that helps H.O.M.E provide programs for that area,” Brown said
For more information about Saturday’s fair, contact the WHUCC at 207-892-4217. For more detailed information about H.O.M.E. and the various volunteers opportunities available, visit their website at www.homemmausa.org