Local market benefits programs to improve the lives of children in need

Community

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is hosting its annual fundraiser to benefit local programs that improve the lives of children.

The Market at 3 West Ridge will be open February 11 to 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

It takes a year of planning and 120 volunteers to bring The Market to life. Members and friends of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island come together to prepare for the arrival of 20 vendors from across the nation.

The market has been going on for nine years. Each year, they choose two charities that help vulnerable children. 

This year, they chose the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center (CCAC) to be the recipients of the proceeds. Both organizations work with abused and neglected children.

Last year, they were able to raise $31,000 for each organization. Co-chairman of the Market, Debbie Jordan, says she hopes this year they will be able to do the same. 

“Last night was wonderful,” Jordan said of The Market’s opening night.

“It was even better than last year. Today has a good, steady flow. We’re hoping for even more people tomorrow,” she said.

St. Peter’s has been raising money for vulnerable children for 22 years and has raised $1.2 million.

CASA recruits and trains volunteers to be a child’s personal advocate, working to ensure the child’s needs are not overlooked and that an informed friend is nearby to speak on the child’s behalf. 

“It means the world to me that so many people have an open heart that’s full of compassion that are willing to come out and spend their hard-earned dollars because they know that it’s changing the life for a child,” CASA Communications and Development Coordinator Kayla Williams said.

Similarly, CCAC focuses its work on individual children, providing a safe and confidential place where an abused child can receive free investigative and therapeutic services in a child-friendly facility.

“This means a lot to us because we are a non-profit so we get funding through grants and the City of Savannah,” CCAC Parent Support Specialist Alexis Mack said. “So a lot of our art supplies that we use to do therapy, gas cards, and it’s really beneficial to be here.”

Every year, new vendors are added to the roster so shoppers can be assured of finding something familiar and something fresh and unanticipated.

“You’ll find a lot of Savannah spirit, you’ll find a lot of what Savannah is about here, not just in the things you see but the people that you meet,” CASA Volunteer Stephanie Tutt said.

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