The HSHS Holy Family Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar (previously known as the Greenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary Bazaar) has been held annually on the first Saturday in December at Greenville Free Methodist Church.
The Holy Family Auxiliary Executive Committee recently voted to discontinue holding the Annual Holiday Bazaar, in favor of looking into newer, more innovative ways to raise funds for the hospital.
While a well-known event, the Bazaar takes a lot of hard work and effort, with a dwindling fundraising income. Jane Cornelius, HSHS Holy Family Auxiliary President, shared, “The Auxiliary is experiencing a shortage of volunteers. A large number of volunteers are needed as chairpeople for the booths. Many of the current Bazaar chairpeople and volunteers have been serving in this capacity for decades, and have had difficulty finding new volunteers to step into their places,” she said.
In addition, the Auxiliary struggles with keeping interesting and unique merchandise in the booths, getting volunteers to make baked goods or candies, and not receiving a sufficient price on auction items. Cornelius continued, “Many of the Bazaar items are from the Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop, and then returned there if not sold. The Bazaar was essential at a time when there was limited availability of craft and Christmas items in the area, but many of the items can now be purchased at local stores, such as Christmas wreathes and special holiday treats. In addition, with Pinterest being so popular, many people undertake their own craft projects at home,” she explained.
The Bazaar was important as an Auxiliary fundraiser in the past, but the Thrift Shop continues to be their strongest fundraiser to date. The Thrift Shop also requires many volunteers, thereby limiting Auxiliary members available to help with the Bazaar.
Cornelius explained, “While many people enjoy attending the Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar, it is extremely labor intensive and takes months of planning and dedication from a number of people to make it a success. The expenses required to stage such an event also limit the amount of funds raised. In fact, more than 50 percent of the Bazaar’s revenue goes to expenses,” she said. “We still desire to raise funds to assist the hospital in its Mission – but we are looking forward to having new and innovative fundraising projects and activities.”
If anyone is interested in joining the HSHS Holy Family Auxiliary, please contact Marian Embry, Holy Family Hospital’s Director of Volunteer Services, at 618-690-3525.
HSHS Holy Family Hospital is part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.