Giving Back to Our Community…
From the Cherokee Tribune
People who go to a fund-raising flea market this weekend in Canton can win a car, eat authentic Mexican food and help the community.
The Cherokee County chapter of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association is sponsoring a flea market to raise money for the renovation of Iglesia Cristiana Monte De Sion (Mount Zion Christian Church).
The Canton church also is the home of the MUST Outreach and Training Center, which will help day laborers and their families.
The church, which is housed in a former chicken processing plant on Marietta Road, was shut down by the city late last year for safety reasons. It will remain closed until necessary repairs are made to bring it up to code. The needed repairs – including replacing the roof – total more than $20,000.
The Cherokee chapter of the Home Builders Association this week donated $6,000 toward that total. This weekend’s flea market is an attempt to raise part of the remaining $14,000.
Steve McKenzie, former president of the Cherokee chapter and current member, introduced church Pastor Salvador Gonzales to the association’s executive committee. After meeting Gonzales, the committee unanimously voted to help with the renovation project.
“Residential as well as commercial development relies heavily on Hispanic labor. They are hard workers and have been a crucial part of the communities we build,” McKenzie said. “This is our chance to give something back.”
The association raised the $6,000 through a golf tournament and donations. Don Sackman, president of the Cherokee chapter, presented Gonzales with the check.
“The homebuilders are very committed to the community at large and specifically the labor center and Pastor Gonzales’ church,” Sackman said.
Even though the renovations are not yet complete, McKenzie is glad the church and labor center still are managing to be operational.
“At this time, both the labor center and the church are housed in temporary structures outside of the building,” said McKenzie. “Until the remodel is finished, this is how things must remain.”
The church building once repaired will be used for a worship center as well as offices for the MUST center. At the center, day laborers will be matched up with available jobs. Laborers and their families also will be able to access free food and clothing and take free English classes there.
Jaime Escamilla, director of the labor center, set up a trailer in front of the church in February so they could begin to administer services while the repairs were under way.
Renee’ McKenzie of TIH Homes and Tracey Quillen of Flag Bank are organizing the flea market.
Mrs. McKenzie said she is excited about the project.
“This is a great cause and a big help for Cherokee County,” she said.
The flea market will be in front of the church at 631 Marietta Road in Canton all day Friday through Sunday. There also will be live music, authentic Mexican food and activities for children. There will be a raffle for a car, and tickets for the drawing are $50 each.
Donations for the flea market still are needed. Items for sale will include household items, construction items, clothing, toys, books and food. Donations are tax-deductible and receipts are available. Financial donations for the renovation projects also are needed.