Helping Small Business By Hosting Local Markets
Since April 2015, Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs has been hosting local Vendor Markets. Not only is this a major fundraising event for us, it is also a way to boost local small businesses.
Without local small entrepreneurs and crafts people, our economy would perish. Our country was founded on the backs, imaginations, and dreams of small business people. Today is no different.
Perhaps they handcraft with sea shells, or knit/crochet items, or try their craftsmanship at soap making. But all are equally important and show that the Canadian dream is alive and well.
It only seems fitting that Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs come alongside these visionaries and give them a venue to shine.
Twice yearly, we rent the Royal Canadian Legion hall in our town. We then rent out the use of 6 foot tables for a small fee, and open the event to the general public for FREE admission.
Hundreds of people from all walks of life attend these events in the hopes of finding that special Mother’s Day gift, unique trinket for home, or Christmas shopping.
How Did This Partnership Begin?
It began in December, 2014 by a local crafts person, Leslie Good and her Goodie’s Creations.
She had recently become aware of our ministry and the humanitarian outreach to the community. She also discovered that we assist over 2,000 families annually without any regular funding by local government or churches. At that time we were operating on a budget of $13,000 a year.
Although it was already late in November at that time, she and her daughter quickly brought together several of their crafting friends. Just before Christmas, the first Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Vendor Event was in motion.
Leslie rented out tables to the Vendors, and gathered up a donation of an item or service from each of them. As well, she gathered up donations from local businesses.
Next, came the introduction for us, a Penny Table.
Tickets of 25 were sold for $3 and 50 tickets for $5. Each prize or donation had a jar that corresponded to it.
People could place their purchased tickets into the jar of their choosing with the hopes of having their number pulled later in the day as the “Winner”.
Over 100 prizes were handed out at the end of the day.
The next day, we were presented with $1,579.55. That ended up being 12% of all monies raised in 2014. This made a huge difference in offering services to the community.
Thank you to Leslie Good and her Goodie’s Creations for being a fundraising visionary for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs.
The Vendors Asked For Another Event!
In the spring of 2015, Vendors who had participated in the Christmas Market, started contacting us directly.
They as individual businesses, and as a group, wanted to continue to demonstrate their support for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs. They requested we host a Spring Vendor Market.
So, Barry and I discussed it, and although very strapped for time, we were equally strapped for finances to proceed ahead with new ministry outreaches. This seemed like a natural progression for us—to start hosting 2 events a year.
One in the spring (after a long cabin fevered winter) and another just in time for last minute Christmas shopping.
Barry and I got organizing
Quickly we rented the Gravenhurst Legion hall, made up application forms for the Vendors, and basically set it up according to the format that Leslie Good had used at the first event.
Now we host 2 events a year, raising money for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs, and helping small businesses in our community.
An experience such as this offers these Vendors an opportunity to meet members of the general public who otherwise might know of the valuable services or products they provide.
We do screen Vendors to make sure their products are:
- family friendly
- not duplicated—no 2 Tupperware ladies at the same event
- inexpensive merchandise
- desirable and useful products
Inexpensive Items and Services
As a huge portion of the public that we are in daily contact with are primarily those on tight financial budgets, this must be considered. Therefore, we discourage Vendors who have top end products at large prices. We look for Vendors such as Gypsy Rose Naturals & More which offers inexpensive handmade soaps, or Courtney’s Cupboard and fresh baked goodies.
Items that are inexpensive allow even people on tight budgets to purchase a special hand crafted item whether it be for personal use or a gift.
Our Ultimate Goal
The goal for these events is to boost the sales and public exposure for small local business people. Whether they are selling Tupperware or crocheting Minion hats. We desire to see each Vendor make their money back on the table rental and more.
To put something special and inexpensive into the hands of those struggling puts a smile on their face and ours too.
This type of event EMPOWERS both the Vendor and customers towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
The Penny Table is a big draw
Not only is the Penny Table a big drawing part of the event, it is a huge draw. Consistently there are about 75-100 items up for grabs on the Penny Table for each event.
This is where money is raised for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs. The money for the table rentals pays for the hall rental with little left over. So the major fundraiser for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs is—The Penny Table.
And it is inexpensive too. You get 25 tickets for $3 or 50 tickets for $5. It is so much fun trying to decide which items you want to put your tickets in for.
This Spring Vendor Market has this item on the Penny Table.
When Is The Next Event?
This year’s spring event is going to be held on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at the Gravenhurst Legion. It will be open to the public from 9 am to 3 pm.
These events are not just looked forward to by the Vendors, but also by the general public as well.
In addition to being a great local shopping experience, it is also a great time of socializing and making new friends. And as you can see from Laura Day, from Younique, it is a time to have FUN!
So, mark it on your calendar and join us. We’d love to see you! Help us and show your support for local small businesses. These events still make up 11% of all of the money raised each year. These monies are used to help provide services to you. So come out, support, mingle, shop, and enjoy the day!
For your convenience, you can download this information here.