The annual Bexley Shop Hop offers visitors a way to support local businesses and to contribute toward programs that provide recreational opportunities for youth and assistance to families in need.
The event is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11 at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.
The Bexley Shop Hop is a fundraiser for the Bexley Recreation Scholarship Fund and the local nonprofit Developmental Assets Resource Network. The organization provides a range of services for Bexley students and families, including food, winter coats, school supplies, medical needs and school-related fees.
"There's a suggested donation at the door. Money raised from the Shop Hop goes to DARN and their efforts to support families who need a little assistance in our community," said Michael Price, recreation director. "They often make a sizable donation to our Youth Scholarship Fund."
While DARN accepts donations year-round, the Shop Hop is the organization's major fundraising event, said Marguerethe Jaede, a Shop Hop organizer and DARN board member.
"It's important to create a community where everyone feels valued, included and can access the resources available in the community," she said. "Not everybody has either transportation access or financial access to the resources in the community. Some people, it's very easy to engage, and some people, you need to reach out to. What DARN does -- we reach out."
In 2016, DARN provided passes to 51 children and 15 families for summer camps, the David H. Madison Community Pool, preschool and Bexley Recreation and Parks Department programs. It also collected, serviced and distributed 82 bicycles and provided winter holiday food and gift cards to 41 families (a total of 109 people), among its charitable activities. The organization also provided furniture and household items that completely furnished three apartments for families who experienced housing crises, Jaede said.
"That's an incredible testament to Bexley," she said. "For somebody who's going through a crisis, to not have to worry about that is huge. That offers a level of comfort. That offers a super-powerful message."
At this year's Shop Hop, visitors can browse vendors offering clothing, jewelry, gourmet chocolate, pet treats and a variety of other merchandise. For more information, visit darncares.org/bexleyshophop.