A Hilliard-based charity will benefit from a special holiday shopping event being sponsored by a local church.

A Hilliard-based charity will benefit from a special holiday shopping event being sponsored by a local church.

Patches of Light, a nonprofit organization that assists critically ill children and their parents, will benefit from proceeds at the Holiday Shop-A-Thon, from 7-9 p.m., Dec.3 at the Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church, 4343 Dublin Road, Hilliard.

Vendors are being accepted through Nov. 26 for the event. It will feature more than 20 representatives of local home-based businesses, including Thirty-One Gifts, Avon, Lia Sophia, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and Nana's Closet Doll Clothes, among others.

The event is open to the public and includes refreshments and raffle prizes. Admission is free.

Representatives of Patches of Light will be in attendance to share information and accept the proceeds from the evening. The charity was founded a decade ago by Hilliard resident Mindy Atwood after two of her children had suffered critical illnesses - cancer and a congenital heart defect.

The children are fine now, but Atwood said that during their illness the family "faced all the things that parents face, financial and emotional devastations, trying to deal with everything. Once we made it through that, we felt we'd like to give back a little bit."

The Atwoods got started by holding a fundraiser to help a family from West Virginia repair its car, allowing it to commute to chemotherapy treatments. Then they were asked by a social worker to do another fundraiser, "and it just snowballed after that," Atwood said.

Atwood, who also works full-time at Hilliard Station Sixth Grade, said she puts 40-50 hours a week into Patches of Light, which is operated out of her home.

"We're like a family," Atwood told ThisWeek. "It's amazing that people jump in and want to help other people. My passion is Patches of Light, and it's like a child to me, but I could not do it without the help of everyone else."

For information, visit www. patchesoflight.org. For information on the Holiday Shop-A-Thon, contact Erica Koons, event coordinator, at ericakoons31@ yahoo.com or 1-828-243-3448.