HARKER HEIGHTS — Most folks haven’t even thought about buying a Thanksgiving bird yet, but it’s never too early to go Christmas shopping if it’s for a good cause.
Hundreds of people cruised through tables of items at the St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church’s Parish Center in Harker Heights throughout the day on Saturday for the 23rd annual Ladies of Charity Holiday Bazaar.
People have a second chance to pick up a present for a loved one today, when the Holiday Bazaar is open from 8-11 a.m. The Knights of Columbus, which supports the fundraiser, will be serving breakfast.
Most of the wide variety of items gracing the tables are donated to the Ladies of Charity Thrift Shop in Harker Heights by community members. Plenty of one-of-a-kind handmade crafts are available, along with books, Christmas trees and gifts, jewelry, plants, and a holiday raffle.
“You can find something for anyone,” said Denise Brafford, vice president of the Ladies of Charity at St. Paul’s.
The event is the big fundraiser for the Ladies of Charity, whose members try to help communities near and far. Last year the event raised around $20,000 and the same is expected this year, she said.
“We support the charities we know have a great benefit to the community, especially to help people who are marginalized,” Brafford said. Among the local organizations that benefit from the Holiday Bazaar include the Killeen Food Bank, Families in Crisis, the Killeen Free Clinic and helping homeless students in the Killeen Independent School District.
Profits from the Ladies of Charity Thrift Shop provide the lion’s share of the $64,000 that was funneled into 12 charities last year.
For shoppers, the Holiday Bazaar was about both helping others and finding that perfect something for a special someone.
“There’s a lot of unique treasures,” said Mary Oszust, who was poring over some colorful handmade shawls with her 16-year-old daughter, Grace.
They were hunting for Christmas presents.
“You can get things here you can’t get later on, first dibs,” said Grace Oszust. “It’s good to support our church by buying Christmas gifts for people while the money is going to a good cause.”
The St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church Parish Center is located at 1000 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights.
The Ladies of Charity Thrift Shop is located at 1005 South Ann Blvd., Harker Heights. It is open Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wednesday from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.; and the first Saturday of the month from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.