Local Merchants peddle seasonal crafts, foods at charitable event
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - Radius Church’s Lexington Campus on West Main Street was teeming with holiday shoppers, as the place of worship played host to the “Lighthouse Holiday Market” Saturday. The building was abounding with 35 local merchants selling a variety of goods from crafts to clothing and skin care products.
The market was sponsored by Lighthouse for Life, an Irmo-based organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and prostitution in the Midlands and the world at large. The charity’s missions are to educate the public about sex trafficking, and to provide care for rescued victims. Lighthouse for Life is currently developing an after care facility in Columbia to house those harmed by sex trafficking. The center will provide material services such as shelter, meals, and clothing, as well as assistance with life skills training, education, and spiritual support such as Bible studies. Public education consists of speeches and awareness events at schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations.
While public outreach is important in terms of soliciting funding and further assisting victims, human trafficking is a painful, emotional subject that can make people uncomfortable. Lighthouse for Life has taken to outreach through positive public events such as the holiday market, and informing attendees of its mission through the distribution of printed media rather than verbal spiels. “It is a hard topic for people to discuss, so events like this are a soft launch,” said Jen Thompson, executive director with Lighthouse for Life. “Not only are we helping raise awareness, but we’re giving back to the community through these activities.” Thompson says this is the second edition of the “Lighthouse Holiday Market." The organization will also hold a “Movie Night” on December 3 at Fellowship Bible Church in the Irmo area, and a Comedy Night featuring local standups on January 20 at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. Proceeds from all events go to Lighthouse For Life’s projects, such as the care center, which Thompson says is scheduled for a January opening.
For more information on Lighthouse for Life, visit lighthouseforlife.org or call (803) 900-0907.