Harvest of Talents fundraiser to return to Morristown

Items for sale at last year’s Harvest of Talents. The eighth-annual Harvest of Talents Sale and Silent Auction Show to relieve world hunger will be held on Nov. 2 at First Christian Church in Morristown.

For the eighth straight year, Morristown will host the annual Harvest of Talents Sale and Silent Auction Show to relieve world hunger.

The event, sponsored by Lakeway Church and takes place on Nov. 2 at First Christian Church on Parker Road, runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Items and services for sale and auction are created and donated by members of the community. Examples of items to be sold or auctioned include handmade quilts, original artwork, refinished furniture, original carpentry, music lessons, photography services, baked goods and other items.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase, with hot beverages starting at 10 a.m., and a soup bar for lunch at 1 a.m. Outside the church, there will be a bounce house, face-painting and other free activities for people of all ages.

“It really does make a tremendous difference in people’s lives, and Morristown and the surrounding areas have been a part of that,” said Darrell Williams, a former deacon at Lakeway Church who has since relocated to Knoxville, but returns to Morristown to work the event.

The event was moved from Lakeway Church to the current location because the growth became too much for the smaller location. Organizers and volunteers are pleased and astonished the event has grown over the years.

“(The success of the event) is a tremendous response from the community. Simple donations of talents making arts and crafts – and various other things – are being sold here to fight world hunger,” Williams said. “It’s been growing every year. It’s grown from our church to other churches (in the area) to help those who are hungry across the world. The need is real.”

Williams recounts his mother’s admonishment from the kitchen table as a child as a major reason for participating in the event every year.

“When I was a kid, my mother said to clean your plate because kids are starving in Africa,” he said. “Now we’re doing something about it.”

Last year’s event raised $7,720, with money from the previous Harvests of Talents events buying food directly for people in India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Haiti through the International Disaster Emergency Service.

“The first couple of years, a lot of the money raised was raised through donations from the planners themselves,” said Lakeway Church’s Hayley Abernathy, who is a member of the planning committee for the event. “As the years have gone by, people have gotten more generous, so the planners haven’t been the major donors. The numbers have bounced around over the years. In 2016, we broke the $10,000 mark, so it was very exciting.

“We don’t use any of the money raised for overhead. Every cent of the money raised is directly donated for the cause of ending world hunger.”

Abernathy also said the planning committee has relied on community sources to inform others of the event.

“I would like to see (the event) expand even more,” she said. “We’ve been spreading the word through word of mouth, social media and members underwriting our (public service announcements).”

For more information on Harvest of Talents, visit www.HarvestEastTN.com. For more information on the International Disaster Emergency Service, visit www.ides.org.