BEND AREA — Proceeds from a booth at the Mason County Fair will be providing meals this holiday season for families in need across the Bend Area.
For three years, Faith Baptist Church of Mason has been operating a food booth at the fair, with all money made going to local charities and organizations.
This year, a portion of the proceeds, $2,000, went to the Bend Area C.A.R.E. organization’s “Kids for Christmas” program. The program provides gifts and clothing to local children. In addition, a $100 food voucher is given to each family, and the church donation will provide those vouchers to the 20 families being served, according to C.A.R.E. member Leonard Koenig.
Pastor Josh Waybright said when the church took over the booth in 2018, the guiding principle was that whatever profit was made would be spent in the Bend Area to help improve people’s lives. He added none of the money comes back to the church.
Also benefitting from the 2021 booth proceeds were the Bend Area Food Pantry, Heaven’s Saints Motorcycle Ministry, Jacob’s Well Ministries, Inc., Mason Mission, and the Good News Club, which ministers to students from New Haven Elementary after school hours.
In 2018, Pastor Waybright said the motorcycle ministry and Mason County Homeless Shelter received the funds. The following year, the church provided medical debt relief with assistance through Pleasant Valley Hospital. Due to COVID-19, there were no food booths at the fair in 2020.
The church has already voted to host the booth again next year. The pastor said about 60 people from the church volunteer in four hour shifts to man the booth. He added each year profits have increased, and some people seek out and patronize the booth because they know it gives back to the community.
Koenig said in addition to the $2,000 food voucher money from the church, the organization spent around $10,000 at Walmart in Mason recently to provide clothing and toys for the children of the 20 families. He said C.A.R.E. is presently seeking new members, and meetings are held on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the meeting room at the American Legion in New Haven.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.