SEQUIM — ’Tis the season for Bazaars, and one of Sequim’s biggest community-boosting fundraiser events, Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church’s annual Yuletide Bazaar, is once again offering hundreds of crafted items — from the decorative to the edible and everything in between.
With last year’s event raising $9,500, the Yuletide Bazaar — set this year for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the church, 925 N. Sequim Ave. — has raised more than $100,000 for 27 nonprofits since its inception in 1999, said Linda Carlson, one of the event’s organizers.
In the “Vintage Market,” attendees can find a variety of items that bazaar crafters, a group that includes contributors from other congregations, have spent time creating year-round, from table and kitchen linens to toys, knitwear and note cards to decorative signs, to holiday-themed items such as wreaths, tree ornaments and Advent calendars.
“About this time of year, many of us also begin work on baked goods, especially Scandinavian and Christmas specialties,” Carlson said.
The bazaar also features a bake sale with foodstuffs from homemade lefse and pastries to gingerbread cookies and soup.
“We’re on track to have about 1,000 crafted items at the bazaar,” Carlson said.
Church bazaars have been important fundraisers in Sequim since the mid-1950s, when plates of cookies and jars of jam were the featured merchandise. The events are often fundraisers for congregation projects, scholarships and community needs.
A somewhat unique feature to the Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church bazaar, Carlson said, is that all items are donated. No crafter profits from the event and there are no outside vendors or commercially-manufactured new items for sale.
In addition, all proceeds are donated to nonprofits in Sequim and Port Angeles, such as Clallam Mosaic, North Olympic Foster Parent Association, Voices for Veterans, Peninsula Behavioral Health, Dungeness Valley Health and Wellness Clinic, Forks Abuse Program and Pro Bono Attorneys.
The crafters themselves choose charities to donate.
The annual bazaar is responsible for raising more than a quarter of the nearly $400,000 that the Dungeness Valley Lutheran congregation has contributed to area charities since its founding in 1990, she said.
Established before the Lutheran congregation even had a sanctuary of its own, the first Yuletide Bazaar was held in what is now the Parish House on North Sequim Avenue.
Recent recipients of the Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church (DVLC) Yuletide Bazaar include:
North Olympic Foster Parent Association supports foster children, foster parents, biological parents and teenagers aging out of state support with advocacy and with financial support for school supplies, clothing, and other needs not adequately covered by state fees.
The organization has received five grants, including from the 2017 and 2018 events.
Peninsula Behavioral Health serves those in need with mental health and chemical dependency licensed psychiatric professionals including doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, counselors, nurses and case managers.
It has received seven grants starting with proceeds from the 2009 bazaar.
First Step supports the development of healthy families with a variety of programs, including a drop-in center, maternity support, Parents as Teachers, the First Books Literacy Program and a clothing and equipment closet.
First Step has been a beneficiary since the 2013 bazaar.
Pro Bono Lawyers provides legal assistance to low income residents of Clallam and Jefferson County with drop-in clinics and individual appointments, and has received at least seven DVLC grants, including from both the 2017 and 2018 events.
Clallam Mosaic serves individuals with special needs, their families and caregivers. Its mission is to develop an inclusive community that enhances the quality of life for people with special needs.
It has been a beneficiary since 2012.
The Forks Abuse Program provides shelter, advocacy-based counseling, and preventative services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
It’s been a beneficiary since the 2012 event.
Healthy Families of Clallam County provides child abuse prevention and treatment services including parenting classes, support groups, 24-hour crisis intervention, medical and legal advocacy, emergency and transitional shelter.
The organization has benefited from bazaars since 2009.
The Answer for Youth is a drop-in center that serves homeless and at risk teens and disadvantaged young adults. It offers hot food, laundry and shower facilities, a clothes closet, and a variety of classes.
It has received seven grants, most recently from the 2018 bazaar.
Voices for Veterans, which supports veterans, especially those who are homeless, and their families, has received five grants, including from the 2017 and 2018 bazaars.
Dungeness Homes is a start-up developed in response to the shortage of affordable housing for families in the Sequim School District that risk homelessness.
Founded by — but separate from — DVLC, Dungeness Homes plans to build several apartments on land donated by the church.
The organization received its first grant from the 2018 bazaar.