When Tracy MacDonald set out to host a charity sale to help local women living with abuse — she didn’t expect it to grow this quickly.
“I got a few vendors together, then just kept adding more,” said the Sarnia woman, who is organizing the inaugural “Women Helping Women” vendor charity event next month.
“The amount of people coming forward — it’s crazy. It brings tears to my eyes.”
The event, taking place Nov. 28 at Newton Park, is a fundraiser for the Women’s Interval Home in Sarnia — a cause that’s close to MacDonald.
“They are unheard angels,” she said of the staff at the Sarnia agency, which provides an immediate alternative to an abusive or potentially abusive family setting for women and their children.
“I’ve seen a lot of domestic abuse in my life — people who could have gotten out of a bad situation sooner.”
She’s hosting the event in honour of friend Jessica Nethery, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Sarnia in 2002.
“I want people to remember her. This is the best way I can do that,” she said.
MacDonald posted the event on Facebook last month and the response has been phenomenal, she said, noting that donations are pouring in from businesses, artists, vendors, and individuals who just want to help out.
The cause, she noted, hits home for many.
“I had one woman who just offered to bring coffee to the event. She’s lived at the home in the past, and was just looking for a way to give back.”
Because there’s so many donations, she’s been assembling what she calls “Fresh Start Baskets,” for staff at the Interval Home to hand out.
Event vendors include brands like Steeped Tea, Scentsy, Epicure, Pampered Chef and more. Raffle prizes, baking and beverage tables, a used book sale, and donation table for the home will also be on hand.
“I had a goal of $1,200 and I’ve already raised it,” said MacDonald, who hopes it will become an annual event. “The amount of community donations has been incredible.”
“Even if it helps one person — to let them know there’s somewhere to go,” she added. “There are people out there to help.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: The Women Helping Women Charity Vendor Event
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 28, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Newton Park, McCrie St. (inside the small rec. building)
DETAILS: Vendor tables, raffle prizes, bake sale, book sale & more. Proceeds to the Women’s Interval Home.
For more on the Women’s Interval Home, visit www.womensintervalhome.com