So, yesterday, I got to do a thing…
RiverStone Church was invited to have a booth/table at San Juan College’s annual Four Corners Conference for Professional Development. Having never attended the event, I was flying semi-blind, but confident in our ability. We would be sharing information about two of our outreach ministries with hundreds of participants from all walks of life. With the help of Corky, Lillian, Nancy, and Roberta, we were able to promote both the Overflow Free Store and the Crafty Ladies’ 7th annual Old-Fashioned Bazaar.
Since the opening of the Overflow Free Store, in December of 2014, they have “overflowed” over 300,000 household items, including clothing, accessories, books, toys, cookware, linens, and small household appliances to over 10,000 individuals (3,300+ families) in the county. That is over $1.1 million in USED value; many items come in almost-new or new condition! The Crafty Ladies hand make thousands of items from February to November, which they sell at their annual Old-Fashioned Bazaar. Since the inception of the Crafty Ladies six years ago, revenue from the bazaars has enabled the provision of over $40,000 in assistance to women and children in need in San Juan County.
During the day, we were able to visit with many people.There were mixed reactions; including, “Oh, I go to that bazaar every year now!”,“Really? There is a FREE store in our town?”, “RiverStone Church?”, “RiverStone Church!”, and “Oh, that reminds me, it’s time again! I have some more things I need to drop off and donate!” Just as varied as the comments, were the people attending/leading the conference; a beautifully diverse range of ages, ethnicity, and vocations. It was amazing!
During the breaks, I walked a little bit around the Henderson Fine Arts building, which wasn’t there when I went to SJC in the early 80’s. Yep, this town and the college have grown just a tad in the last 40 years. It started me thinking; the new building east of the Bookstore sits on what used to be the softball field where I (briefly) played co-ed softball. I then remembered my first photography class from Jim Burgess was in a small white building close to the east entrance by the fire-training facility. (Can you hear Barbara Streisand singing “Memories” now?)
Our community has waxed and waned amid many changes, and yet, through this task of having a booth at a conference, I was reminded how blessed we are to have a God who loves us and is always with us throughout those changes. Celebrate His love for us by revisiting the history in your town!