You Don’t Want to Miss STEPS,Inc. 37th Annual “Shopping with a Cause” this Weekend!
Every fall, I eagerly look forward STEPS, Inc. Annual “Shopping with a Cause“, signaling the real beginning of the holiday season. The goal of STEPS,Inc. is to provide ” positive results to help people break the cycles of poverty (from the STEPS website).” Even though I have only been attending the event for the last ten years, STEPS, Inc. has been hosting this for 37 years! And each year, the event exceeds its own high benchmark. I had the good fortune to talk with Sharon Harrup, President and CEO of STEPS, Inc., briefly today during my visit. And it should come as no surprise to learn that she has already started planning and laying the groundwork for the 2017 event!
If you missed the event today, no worries! You still have tomorrow from 11am – 4pm to get over to the STEPS building at 100 Industrial Park Rd, Farmville, VA 23901. Even though James and I did some shopping there today, you better believe we will be back again tomorrow for round two. 🙂 A HUGE thank you to Sharon, as well as her staff and volunteers, for pulling off such a phenomenal event year after year.
Here are a just a few of the many vendors you will see at the event this year. I have tried to provide you with a link to each vendor (if one was available), for your shopping needs past this Sunday (and yes – James enjoyed posing in many of the photos we snapped today):
- Father’s Daughter and Backpack Memories Photography booth. This is Sue Carter’s (Father’s Daughter) 2nd year at the event, joined by Karla Ellington (Backpack Memories) for the first time. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone in your life – this is the booth for you. Sue’s creativity and handwork with her pieces is amazing! The detail work in each piece will bring wonder and delight to that special someone on your holiday list. I already have my order in for one of her awesome wooden trucks. And Karla’s photography is absolutely striking. Here was one of my favorite prints.
- Gift Club Crafts of Powhatan, VA. This is Tracey’s first year at SWAC, and are we glad she decided to travel over for the event. Every item is uniquely made from recycled wood, and absolutely spectacular.The hard part is picking just one, and giving it to someone else instead of keeping it for myself. 😉
- A Lil’ of This & A Lil’ of That. Another first timer at SWAC, her light up glass snowmen are absolutely stunning. These would be great in a window to welcome visitors all winter, or as a nightlight. The great thing I love about decorating with snowmen, rather than only having them out to enjoy for a couple of weeks, they can grace your decor from December through March with ease (and with any luck, help summon snow). You can reach Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org to place order outside of the show.
- Cooper’s Woodshop. Dennis picked up his basket weaving skills from his father, and has been practicing his art for over 25 years. The craftsmanship of his baskets is amazing, and you will often seem him working on a project while manning his booth. This is always one of my favorite stops – and this year I am spoiling myself with one of his stair baskets. Dennis can be reached at 434-392-5196 to place an order.
- Maria’s Sweet Creations. Even though we were making our rounds slightly before lunch hour, people were lined up at Maria’s booth to make sure they secured one of her mouth-watering delicacies while they lasted (no worries – they looked very well stocked and Iam confident she is ready for day two tomorrow). Maria is fairly well-known in the Farmville area for her tasty baked goods with top-notch ingredients, so it is no surprise to see her so very busy. Make sure you give her goodies a taste tomorrow, or visit her website to place an order for the holidays.
- Rivanna Ridge Soaps. This was one of James’s favorite booths, and with good reason! A portion of the profits Thea Yancey receives from her sales benefits Service Dogs of Virginia! Along with the all-natural soaps and creams for you and your four-footed friend, Thea had on hand with her at her booth a beautiful black service dog in training. James LOVED giving this young pup a break from “training” to play tug with a bone. We are SO glad they joined us this year, and sure hope they become regulars!
- Another new addition this year to the event and the region is the Heart of Virginia Christmas Mother. Nancy Haga has the honor of serving as the inaugural 2016 Heart of Virginia Christmas Mother. With her cheerful smile and friendly hug, it is no wonder James initially thought she was Mrs. Claus! Nancy and Mary Harrison were extremely busy sharing their Christmas cheer with all passersby. With this being the first year for this program, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and help provide a very merry holiday season to families in our community. Consider donating food, new clothes, toys, books, or your time to the Heart of Virginia Christmas Mother, or one of the other area Christmas Mother programs (both Cumberland and Prince Edward County have Christmas Mother programs as well).
- Red Rocker Candy. This is my 12-year-old son’s favorite booth. In their 4th year at SWAC, Red Rock Candy has some of the best melt-in-your-mouth candies you will ever taste. Michael P’s MUST HAVE item each year … the infamous peppermint bark!
- Special Shopping with a Cause guests – the Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and the big man himself – SANTA! A visit to SWAC is never complete without stopping by to let Santa know what you would like this holiday season, and having your photo taken while you are there. Not only can you get your list in to the big man early, but you get a professionally done photo (one photo starts at $10) in a matter of minutes — and no long waiting lines or heavy city traffic to fight! What more could you ask for?!
Well —- what are you waiting for?!?! See you there bright and early tomorrow after church services! Bring your gift list, your checkbook, and your appetite!
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