Make us your home page

Forest Hills church creates treasures for annual bazaar

NORTH TAMPA — Wine bottles have become bird feeders, old ceiling fan paddles are now Santas and elves, gourds have been painted into penguins and broken costume jewelry adorn the three wise men.

Discarded roadside pieces including chests and desks have been collected and transformed into little girls' dressup sets and jewelry holders.

All have been created by the crafters and furniture team at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church over the past year as the volunteers prepare for Saturday's (Oct. 15) annual Holiday Bazaar. It traditionally draws more than 1,000 shoppers and raises about $25,000 for donation to local charities and international causes with local ties.

The event, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 709 W Linebaugh Ave, also includes collectibles, jewelry, vintage clothing, books, a bake sale and farmers market. New to the 18th annual event is a garden center under a tent with plants, yard art and dish gardens. A pancake breakfast and a barbecue lunch will be sold.

The crafters collect anything they might find useful from old furniture to buttons. Church members and the community also donate supplies. Friends spot a discard on a road and text a picture to the church's craft coordinator, Jennifer Gregory She can send a volunteer in a truck to go get it immediately.

"I think we are the only church I know that constantly goes dumpster diving," said the church's pastor, the Rev. Claudia Henderson.

Two houses on the church's property contain supplies, work space and completed projects for the bazaar.

"People have great faith in what we can do with all this stuff," Gregory said. And I thank the Lord daily for Pinterest," where she gets ideas for the craft projects.

More than 40 crafters and furniture refinishers participate with projects under way for 12 hours on Tuesdays and half-day on Fridays. Most volunteers stay for several hours and others work from home.

The bazaar began 17 years ago when the women's group decided it was time to revamp its fall festival, where it rented spaces to private crafters. Members decided to start making their own merchandise and they were thrilled the holiday bazaar raised $1,100 the first year, Gregory said.

The craft days began to grow and friendships developed.

Wanda Miley has been a craft volunteer since the beginning.

"It's just the love of the whole thing, the fellowship, being able to do something for others," she said as to why she continues. "We just have a good time."

The church donates most of the funds to smaller nonprofits that help children, women, families and homeless. Some recipients include Hillsborough House of Hope, the Judeo Christian Clinic, Meals on Wheels, Trinity Cafe and Village Partners International.

To distribute the funds, the church offered its first mission fair this spring, where local organizations were able to showcase their nonprofits and recruit volunteers. The representatives also networked among themselves and got to know what each did and how they could help one another, Henderson said.

For example, Church Women United gets lots of children's clothing it could not use, Henderson said. That organization is now sending those extra items to Outreach Assisting Students in Schools.

"Now we have organizations working together," the pastor said.

Contact Lenora Lake at

>>If you go

Hed goes here

Type goes here

Forest Hills church creates treasures for annual bazaar 10/06/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2016 3:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Pete Coffee Tours offer a glimpse into the world of local craft coffee

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — What started as a small gathering of friends is now a growing business that has people hyped about St. Petersburg specialty coffee.

    At Craft Kafe, Jason Waits explains Kyoto-style drip coffee during a St. Pete Coffee Tour in May.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30


    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  5. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season


    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."