After losing her mother to domestic violence in 2015, military spouse and local business owner Kelle Zehner knew she had to raise more awareness about the issue.
“I kind of felt like my whole life had led me up to that,” Zehner said.
So she started selling a skin care line, donating a portion of the proceeds to the domestic violence cause, and set up an event while living in Japan similar to the one she now helps run in Onslow County.
Once back stateside, Zehner attended the event in Sneads Ferry called Sip and Shop in the Ferry, a local vendor market founded by military spouses in 2016. In July 2019, she was asked to take over as one of the organizers.
“I’m really about giving back, so I said let’s make it Sip and Shop for a Cause,” Zehner said.
Held at the Sneads Ferry Hampton Inn, Sip and Shop for a Cause invites people to sip coffee and browse products from local vendors, like freeze-dried goods from House Family Homestead, honey from Brawes Bee Farm and homemade apparel from Coastal Mama Creations, to name a few items from the July 10 event.
The money raised through vendor fees and the raffling of a gift basket and a free one night stay at the Hampton Inn is donated to a different local cause each month.
Organizations recently supported include Onslow Pregnancy Resource Center, Onslow County Partnership for Children, Salvation Army and Homeless Shelter, Onslow Soup Kitchen, Onslow Women’s Center and Remember Everyone Deployed.
“The Sip and Shop is built around dedication, passion and pride to support the community,” said military spouse and local business owner Amanda Meek, event co-organizer. “Not only does it help the people in the community learn what resources are available to them and their families, it’s also a way for them to give back,” Meek said.
The next Sip and Shop, scheduled for Saturday, August 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., will benefit Onslow County students and teachers in need and will include a supplies drop box plus a supplies handout courtesy of Newkirk Detailing.
For more on the free, monthly event find Sip and Shop in the Ferry on Facebook.
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Reporter Calvin Shomaker can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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