If you’re reading this close to publishing time, Christmas is still a couple months out. That gives you some time to plan out this missions fundraiser if you choose to use it.
This is a great hands-on opportunity for kids to get involved in raising money for missions.
Each year as Christmas approached, the kids would pick a missions project to raise money towards through BGMC. (BGMC, for those unaware, teaches kids what it means to have a heart for missions. The funds children raise go towards providing missionaries the supplies they need to reach people in the area they serve.)
Their favorite “Christmas gift” to give was often a few goats for families in Asia. Last year, we raised funds to help a school purchase chickens.
Once we picked our gift, we got to work planning the Christmas Bazaar.
What is the Bazaar?
The Christmas Bazaar is a mix between a craft fair and a bake sale. We would take the funds raised and send them as an offering to BGMC.
This event helped us reach our project goal every year.
If you think this might be a good fit for your church, keep reading to see how we ran ours.
Beginning about a month and a half before the event, we started dedicating a portion of our kids’ service to making crafts for the Bazaar.
Many of the crafts were ornaments. A favorite last year (for the kids and congregation) was the sock penguins we made. Easy to make but super cute.
Check out my Pinterest board for a collection of ideas I’ve gathered over the past few years.
Alongside the crafts, we would sell baked goods. This is a great opportunity for families to work together by baking treats to sell for missions. In addition to asking kids church families to participate, I would also approach adults in the congregation who I knew loved to bake.
One of our tables was dedicated to selling hot chocolate. We priced cups of hot chocolate at a dollar each with add-ons like marshmallows and candy canes for an additional 25 cents.
The hot chocolate kept people in the event area, giving them a chance to socialize. This made it feel more like a gathering than strictly a sale.
Contributions From the Congregation
On top of the crafts the kids made, a few crafty people in the congregation liked to create things of their own to donate and sell. They made scarves, dish clothes, ornaments, jewelry, and more.
These were often the more expensive items that helped raise additional money.
During the Event
I stationed adult kids church volunteers at key stations. One was taking the money and another was running the hot chocolate station. A couple teen volunteers helped them.
The kids and other volunteers were spread throughout the bazaar behind tables greeting people as they browsed the selection. (Who can resist purchasing a hand-made craft from an adorable, excited child? 🙂 )
Raising Funds for the Fundraiser?
While the baked goods are made by families, the crafts take money from your budget to make.
Some of the projects I’ve done use materials that you likely already have in your craft closet. I would also save some of my craft budget for the Bazaar. If you have a list of materials you will need in advance, you may be able to ask members of the congregation to donate them.
If you decide to use the Christmas Bazaar as a missions fundraiser for your church, or if you’ve done something similar yourself, let me know about it! This was a fun and rewarding event we looked forward to each year.