Charm Days focuses on the joy of giving

Charm Days focuses on the joy of giving
Dave Mast

The 38th annual Charm Days Auction took on a different feel this year because of COVID-19. Rather than have people line up to pay at the end, the committee decided to use the honor system in having bidders pay for what they had purchased. As always, the proceeds from the event will be poured right back into the community.


Like clockwork, every second weekend of October ushers in the beauty and joy of Charm Days, with the 38th annual event taking place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10.

Not only does Charm Days provide plenty of shopping fun, including a giant flea market, there are also plenty of games, from cornhole and volleyball to the horseback games. There is great food, live music and more, but the important thing is that the funds created from this event go directly into the Charm Share and Care Fund, which was designed nearly four decades ago to help provide funds for families in need who are facing medical bills or other financial crises.

Ivan J. Miller has been on the Share and Care Fund board for many years, and each year he said he always feels so blessed by the show of care, compassion and love that emanates from this event designed to provide for others.

The main fundraiser for the fund is the annual Charm Days benefit auction, with this year’s auction taking place under the big tent where Charm School once stood.

While cautions were taken for COVID-19, people still turned out in force to support the auction and the fund, and yes, to purchase all kinds of items they had their eye on.

“This auction is the major fundraiser for our Share and Care Fund, and it continues to be as important now as when we first started it many years ago,” Miller said.

Miller went on to note that over the years the fund has supported families with mounting medical bills, widows, families who have gone through the agony of watching their home destroyed by fire and many other catastrophes.

“Wherever we see or hear of a need, that is where we want to make an impact,” Miller said. “We keep our eyes and ears open to the community and hear about the many needs and help meet them. Sometimes people refer families facing hardships to us. In a close-knit community like ours, these stories of trials and the needs families are facing tend to get back to us, and helping those families is exactly why we created the Share and Care Fund long ago.”

According to Miller, the auction, the many bake sales and other fundraisers that take place during Charm Days brings in a little more than $100,000, making for a nice sum to share with those in need.

While COVID-19 did create some unique circumstances, one very unique challenge arose this year as the committee deciphered how to best collect the money from auction bidders.

In normal years, throngs of bidders would line up at or near the end of the auction to pay their bills. This year, in order to avoid creating long lines of people in close proximity, the Charm Days auction committee decided to do something rare and trusting, but it was something they believed would work well in an area like Charm.

Miller said in lieu of giving receipts and having people pay in line, they decided to go with the honor system, allowing people to pay for their purchases after the auction.

“We decided to let everyone keep track of their own purchases and running totals and pay after the auction on the honor system,” Miller said. “They are their own secretary. They keep track of what they buy, add it up and put their money in the donation box. That way, there is no physical contact of any kind during an exchange. We tried to do as much as we could to make sure people were distanced and safe.”

Miller went on to say that while the honor system might not work everywhere, the committee believed that those attending and purchasing items were all there to show support for the Share and Care Fund and trusting that belief made doing the auction in this manner an easy decision.

“Most of these people who are here have been here for a very long time and they come every year to support our cause, and we trust everyone to do the right thing,” Miller said.

That trust and the support of the many people who both volunteer for Charm Days, organize it and come to support it have created a beautiful show of love and compassion for others, which continues to be the heart of Charm Days and the Share and Care Fund.

“It’s amazing to see the support this community shows year after year, not just at our auction, but the many auctions that take place in our county that go to support so many people in need, like the Rainbow of Hope support for the children to the kidney foundation auction," Miller said.

"All of that support comes from our local community and goes to show how caring and compassionate people here are in meeting the needs of many," he added. "Not only are the people who received being blessed in the process, but those who are giving in so many ways are also being blessed. The act of giving and receiving go hand-in-hand and help make our community the caring community that it is.”

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