My workplace is involved in a few charity events throughout the year, such as collecting groceries for the local foodshare and working with Habitat for Humanity. For the holidays, they usually set up a "giving tree" with requests from children. Of course, these days, kids want electronics such as gaming systems and iPads... expensive items that not everyone can (or wants to) give.
This year, they decided to try something new. One, the giving tree now holds requests from elderly people at a local low-income retirement home. Some of those requests will bring a tear to your eye -- washcloths, socks, hair conditioner. You could fulfill the wishes of probably 10 people for the price of one iPad.
Two, they held a holiday craft bazaar yesterday. This was a bit of an experiment as my employer is a technical company largely populated with male engineers -- not the usual clientele at a craft bazaar. There were two main charities supporting women and children in Africa, and tables were available to other vendors.
I helped set up for the bazaar, which was held in one of the conference rooms. We hung a blizzard of paper snowflakes from the ceiling and moved the tables into place.
There were 10 vendors total, some employees and some family or friends of employees. Not a huge number, but not too bad for the first year at a tech company.
The Batty Crafter had a table. :)
I had decided to make roll-up totes and gift bags for bottles of wine. I intended to get three fabrics for each, but I found so many fun fabrics that I ended up with five for each. :)
The totes are shown below, plus the red with black paw prints you can see in the photos above.
I made the wine gift bags in Christmas/holiday fabrics. I included a pretty gift tag and a cute little ornament with each one. (The two on the right look a little wonky because they contain Coke bottles. :P I don't drink wine and had only two empty wine bottles a coworker gave me for display.) People liked the bags, and I sold 15 of the 19 I made. :)
In total, I made $295, which I will donate to the local Humane Society. I think that's pretty good for a short (only two hours), first-year event. :)
I heard that the vendors for the two main charities (one selling jewelry and one selling children's books) did well. Overall, I think the bazaar was pretty successful for its first year. We already have some ideas for making it bigger and better next year.