• Last modified 974 days ago (Nov. 18, 2021)


Shopping for a cause

Staff writer

An annual charity event that supports local and international causes drew a large crowd Saturday at Marion Community Center.

Booths for 29 international causes and five local causes were available for visitors to learn about organizations and give money to help them.

In return, booth sponsors gave away ornaments and other token items to visitors who made donations.

Among local charities were Core Communities, Families and Children Together, Marion County Food Bank, Justo Fair Trade Coffee, and PEO Chapter DB.

Terry Bebermeyer, executive director of FACT, spoke with visitors at the agency’s table. FACT serves families throughout the county, providing a financial network for families struggling to pay bills, substance abuse prevention, the Dolly Parton Imagination book program, and the county’s early child task force, a consortium of agencies dealing with needs of early childhood.

FACT also administers It Takes a Village block grants and offers parenting classes.

“Basically, we do whatever we can do to help people in Marion County,” Bebermeyer said.

Advisory board member Mark Rogers and community liaison Tracy Lowe, representing Marion County Core Communities, manned a table for that organization. Core Communities works with people to help them lift themselves out of poverty.

“We believe we can solve poverty if we listen to each other,” Rogers said. “We believe trauma in our past makes us make poor decisions.”

The organization works to build relationships to build resilience.

The group’s description of poverty is wherever a person lacks resource. That can include financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, language, social capital, integrity and trust, relationships and role models, knowledge of middle class rules, and motivation and persistence.

Marion County Core Communities is a local chapter of Youth Core Ministries. Weekly meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro. Volunteers provide meals, child-care helpers, financial support to pay for staff members who work with the project, and a sponsoring location for meetings.

After visitors learned about each program at the alternative gift market, they took forms listing the charities to a check-out table and designated which organizations they wanted to support.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2021