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The women of Holly House at the First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach are back at it, making a variety of crafts featuring jewelry to placemats, and fall and Christmas-themed items such as Santa Claus and gnomes for their Holiday Gift Shoppe, which is open through Dec. 19.
This year, shoppers can view what’s for sale on Facebook Marketplace, prepay using PayPal and pick up the items in person at the church, 33 Gleason St. No appointments are needed.
Last year, Holly House organizer Linda Prior first started showcasing their items on Facebook Marketplace because of the pandemic, and they had success doing it with shoppers coming from Miami to North Palm Beach, she said. Because of COVID-19, appointments were also required.
“It was a big success. We started last April putting things on [Facebook Marketplace], and it surpassed previous year’s sales because advertising on Facebook Marketplace, we’re able to reach more people,” said Prior, who’s been involved with Holly House for over 20 years.
Proceeds from the Holiday Gift Shoppe at Holly House, a ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach, are donated to the church and also used to replenish the supplies needed to make the crafts, Prior said.
New for this year, the women are taking orders for custom pieces so customers can choose the color or specific design they want, and they are offering packaged gift items in boxes that don’t need to be gift wrapped, she said.
“We have a lot of homemade quilted items, gnomes that have the material made from socks, the usual Christmas trees and wreaths and jewelry,” Prior said.
Kathy Baxter is one of the crafters who makes Christmas trees and wreaths using shells. She also makes other wreaths with mussel shells and flowers from shells.
Baxter first got involved with Holly House after a friend who lived in her community brought her there after the death of her husband in 2019, she said.
“I needed to come back to the church and my friend said, ‘Why don’t you join Holly House to meet these lovely ladies who took my mind and pressure off of the everyday dealing with the disease [of her husband],’ and it really was horrendously helpful for me. I love coming here, and now I’ve found my niche. Linda tells us when one of the items we’ve made or created is sold and that makes me feel good too,” Baxter said.
There are also some items for sale that have been donated, Prior said.
“You get unique things, and the prices are so low, less than half of retail. They are handmade things a retail store wouldn’t have — sea glass trees and vintage items because people donate things. Some people donate their Christmas things,” she said.
Holly House also sent holiday greeting cards and letters to the deployed military through Operation Gratitude, an organization based in California that sends letters and care packages to the military.
Bonnie Snyder, who is in charge of the letters and cards sent to the military for the last three years, said they write letters all year long and in August, sent between 700 to 800 letters this year for Christmas.
“Basically, we send letters of encouragement, and thank them for their service and tell them how much we appreciate them and hope they come home safely. This goes on all year long,” she said.
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Connie Timmons, who just moved to Florida in June, recently got involved with Holly House only about a month ago and said she enjoys it so far. She also helps out with Operation Gratitude.
“I wanted to do something to meet people from the church and to contribute to the community. My motto is try to be a better person and make a difference,” she said.
Holly House will have a rummage sale Feb. 9 to 13, 2022, that is arranged like shopping in a department store. Donations of items will be collected starting on Jan. 18.
Proceeds will go to charities such as Achievement Centers for Children & Families, Caridad Center, Family Promise, Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and others, Prior said.
The Holiday Gift Shoppe at Holly House is open from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays and beginning Nov. 27, it will also be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Dec. 19.