What happens when crafters with big hearts get together? Crafts for a Cause! Going on its 10th year, Northeast Credit Union is proud to host this much anticipated tradition. We interviewed Ruth Sico, Senior Member Services Representative at the Sanford, ME branch who has organized this event each year.
Q: How did you get started doing this? What inspired it? A: Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union (now Northeast Credit Union) had been involved for years with the Maine Credit Union League “People Helping People” program, and then the Campaign for Ending Hunger. About 10 years ago the contact person left the Credit Union, and I was interested in keeping some kind of momentum going, because I was raised with a sense of responsibility of helping others in need. With fundraising suggestions from the League’s Social Responsibility Committee, I thought of selling crafts to raise funds. Right around then I started “beading” in a big way, and had other talented people donate things they had made, so we held the sale in a couple of branches.
Q: What kinds of items do you sell? A: Knitted items (hats, scarves, mittens), Christmas ornaments and other seasonal decorations, paintings, quilts and quilted bags, baby blankets, beaded jewelry, wooden birdhouses, kitchen spoons, greeting cards, and sometimes we have baked goods for sale! A very wide assortment of items!
Q: Who are some of your top donors of items? A: My sister Caroline in West Virginia has donated over 40 items each year for the past five or six years, I’d say she is the biggest donor! And I bead year round, mostly making lanyards, lots of lanyards!
Q: Do you have repeat members? A: Yes, especially some employees who make it a “regular” stop! But it’s nice to see regular or new members come in and get a nice surprise when they see what we have going on. One member last year did all of his Christmas shopping here, it was fun for him and for us! It’s the members that keep us doing it year after year; they look forward to buying home made goods and supporting a good cause.
The craft fair happens every year in both the Sanford and Kennebunk branches at Northeast Credit Union. Typically it runs from Thanksgiving week until around Christmastime or while supplies last. All proceeds go to the Maine Ending Hunger Campaign to support local food pantries. This year the fair raised $1,110. If you would like to contribute to the craft fair next year or have any questions please reach out to Ruth Sico.