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Kris Kringle Craft Show supports The Blind Center

With giving on the mind this holiday season, it is easy to take one of life’s greatest gifts for granted — that of sight. Year round, The Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington works to provide services for individuals with visual impairments, and this weekend marks a major fundraiser for the center, as well as an opportunity for local people to interact with the nonprofit.

Friday and Saturday, The Blind Center will host its 17th-annual Kris Kringle Craft Show at the center, bringing an assortment of handmade crafts from talented vendors throughout the region.

“We’ve have over 25 vendors coming in this year,” said Blind Center Director Christie Moler. “Every slot is full, and we also are going to have some people out on the deck. This year, two of our vendors are actually going to be our clients. Most of what we have is handmade.”

For The Blind Center, Moler says the craft show has a double impact for the nonprofit. For one, vendor fees and some proceeds from a food truck on site will support The Blind Center financially, but Moler says the event itself is also about community engagement.

“Something we really pride ourselves on here at the center is being a part of the community and feeling like it’s a community center,” Moler said. “Our clients come to be together, but the volunteers and the other people who are a part of it feel like it’s a community of people who care about them.”

As to what kind of vendors will be on hand, Moler says there’s plenty of variety in this year’s show. Everything from woodworking and pottery to etched glass and personalized gifts will be available. The Blind Center’s gift shop, which features crafts made by the center’s clients, will also be open throughout the show.

The vendors themselves will likewise run the gamut, from new faces to people such as Jim Davenport and Cathy Windley, both of whom have been selling their wares at the show since it began. Moler says most are local people, with a few coming in from the surrounding area. The Greenville-based Zay’s Place food truck will also be selling food throughout the day.

While Santa is scheduled to make an appearance, Moler says she is still looking for someone to fill out the suit. Should Claus fall into place, the jolly old elf will be available to take pictures with children and pets during the event.

“I’d love to see a picture of an iguana with Santa,” Moler laughed.

The Kris Kringle Craft Show runs from noon to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at The Blind Center, located at 221 N. Harvey St., Washington. For more information on The Blind Center, its mission and the services it provides, visit www.theblindcenter.org.