The 4th annual Saturday MarketPlace vendor and craft show is the proverbial win-win – for all of Lebanon County. 

Saturday MarketPlace is a fundraiser that benefits several local charitable organizations and those who support the event. It will be held at the Lebanon Valley Mall on Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to Cornell Wilson, President, Making A Difference of Lebanon, PA, the event sponsor.

“First, it’s a fundraiser for our organization but we also show support for our veterans by providing a portion of the proceeds to a veterans group each year,” says Wilson. “Attendees are also supporting local vendors, crafters and small businesses, which helps keep money in the community.” 

Other benefactors, WIlson added, are the stores within Lebanon Valley Mall as well as shoppers, who can purchase speciality-crafted items from over 50-plus vendors who exhibit their wares at Saturday Marketplace. 

Homemade crafts sold at Saturday MarketPlace run the gamut from clothes and jewelry to paintings and other artistic creations, including “basically anything you would expect to see at a typical craft fair,” according to Wilson.

“Shoppers benefit by supporting a local organization doing work within the community and it is also the perfect opportunity for them to purchase unique items to decorate their homes for the holiday season or to give as Christmas gifts to their families and friends,” Wilson said. 

Wilson estimated, based on past experience, that numerous gift baskets and gift cards will be available for attendees to win as part of a raffle drawing during Saturday MarketPlace.

“The gift baskets are made by our organizational volunteers or are donated by vendors and crafters who exhibit at the event,” Wilson added. 

Wilson noted that Saturday MarketPlace is purposely held on a weekend in mid-November close to Veterans Day to show the non-profit’s support for the men and women who serve or have served their country. This year, Making A Difference, which consists of between 25 to 30 member volunteers, will provide a portion of the proceeds from Saturday MarketPlace to Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Project. 

“Veterans are among the many groups that Making A Difference supports as part of our mission and our vision to be a leader in service, education and community outreach in Lebanon County,” Wilson said. “We’re proud to show our support for those who have served our country.”

Saturday MarketPlace, Wilson noted, will follow CDC’s guidelines concerning COVID-19. Vendors will be spread out throughout the mall, with each vendor at least 6 feet apart. All attendees will be required to wear masks while at the craft show.

Wilson added that the pandemic has impacted the work the charity has been able to do this year and required the organization to become creative in its outreach to the community.

“It (the pandemic) has hurt us a little bit financially, but we’ve found ways to do our outreach by thinking outside of the box,” Wilson said. “We’ve been performing what we call Acts of Kindness over the summer months. We had to minimize the number of people who could participate, in both those we help and the volunteers at these events but we’ve partnered with other local organizations to continue our outreach to those in need.” 

Wilson said their Acts of Kindness program has included distributing food boxes and masks, delivering coffee and donuts to essential workers, including healthcare workers, police officers and other first responders, and making cards for nursing home residents, most of whom have been segregated from their loved ones due to the virus. 

Now in its eighth year, Making A Difference of Lebanon, PA conducts a plethora of events over the year that benefit a wide swath of the community.

“We have a lot of events for youth and people in need and our veterans in Lebanon County,” said Wilson. “Our outreach is designed to make our communities a better place to live.”

Some sponsored events include providing funding for school students to attend music, science and theater camps, a pizza making contest in conjunction with Domino’s Pizza,   

providing over 100 meals on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, its Adopt a Family for Christmas, which provides a holiday for a local family in need, playground beautifications and painting murals. 

“We do many different things to help the community, help those in need,” Wilson said. “Our volunteers give their time because they want to make a difference in Lebanon County by helping children, by helping those in need and by helping the greater community.”

Anyone who would like to support the organization with a financial donation or to learn more about becoming a volunteer can visit the Making a Difference website. 

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Full Disclosure: Making a Difference of Lebanon, PA is an advertiser with LebTown. LebTown does not make editorial decisions based on advertising relationships and advertisers do not receive special editorial treatment. Learn more about advertising with LebTown here.

James Mentzer is a freelance writer whose published works include the books Pennsylvania Manufacturing: Alive and Well; Bucks County: A Snapshot in Time; United States Merchant Marine Academy: In Service to the Nation 1943-2018; A Century of Excellence: Spring Brook Country Club 1921-2021; Lancaster...


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