Hartford, Connecticut, February 14, 2017 –The 8th annual Bantam Bazaar, Trinity’s largest tag sale to benefit charity, will take place on Thursday, February 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Washington Room at Mather Hall. The yearly event is organized by the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement and coordinated by the office’s director, Joe Barber.
The tag sale benefits a different cause each year, and all of this year’s proceeds from the Bantam Bazaar will be donated to the Trinity Episcopal Church Refugee Resettlement Initiative. The office chose that charity, which Trinity is a part of, because of its efforts to help a Syrian refugee family in the area. Barber said, “The money raised will go to continued support for this family as they adjust to a new life in the United States.”
Naty Bush ’19, who has helped organize donations for the Bantam Bazaar this year and last year, is happy with the charity selected to benefit from the sale. “It’s a timely choice to make, given how many people in the country and the world are struggling to find refuge and safety,” Bush said.
Hayden Mueller ’19, who spent some of his January break organizing bins and materials for the Bantam Bazaar, added, “To me, the Bantam Bazaar is a really incredible opportunity for the Trinity community to come together and support a noble cause. Not only is it great for the environment, as all of the goods sold are donated and to be reused, it also helps support the refugee resettlement initiative.”
Last year’s Bazaar benefited Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) to support refugee resettlement efforts in Connecticut. The past seven Bantam Bazaar events have raised more than $8,000 and Barber said that the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement hopes to raise at least $1,000 this year.
The Bantam Bazaar began in 2010 as a response to the earthquakes in Haiti by Lindsey (Eichler) Tengatenga ’08, M’11. The event raised $1,600 in its first year and split the proceeds between two organizations: Partners in Health and Haitian Ministries of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut. Tengatenga now serves as the executive director of Public Allies Connecticut, an organization that partners with nonprofit organizations across Connecticut to work on leadership in communities. Since 2010, the Bantam Bazaar has been an annual event and has supported many organizations such as Oxfam America’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Fund and the Disaster Accountability Project to support victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Members of the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement dedicate a vast amount of time and energy to organize the Bantam Bazaar. Their responsibilities include informing the community of the event, soliciting donations, sorting and pricing items, and assembling a group of volunteers to set up and run the event. Bush said, “I’m most excited to see how the turnout is for the Bazaar. Last year we had a decent attendance, but I definitely hope to see more people stopping by.”
The Bantam Bazaar is open to all Trinity students, staff, faculty, and the Hartford community. Cash, checks, and Bantam Bucks are accepted.
Written by Annelise Gilbert ’17