Great need calls for big Harvest

Children in Kenya are among those served by feeding programs through International Disaster Emergency Service. Photo provided

FORTVILLE — Though many annual events were canceled in 2020, a local hunger relief festival kept going — with modifications — because organizers knew the work it supported also needed to keep going.

Harvest of Talents at Fortville Christian Church raises money for feeding programs through International Disaster Emergency Service. People of the church sell furniture, crafts and home decor items, serve breakfast and lunch, and offer a car show.

After pushing the event to a later date in 2020 and omitting the breakfast and live auction that are traditionally part of it, this year Harvest of Talents returns to Fortville Christian with its full slate of events, including a car show.

Churches who organized Harvest of Talents events in 2020 raised about $200,000 combined, said Nancy Jett. She’s executive assistant for IDES, which has its headquarters in Noblesville. That money is helping fund feeding programs in Haiti, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Myanmar and Tanzania this year, she said.

“Hunger needs around the world escalated during the global pandemic,” she wrote in an email. “Some developing nations are still in lockdown, keeping people from being able to earn money for food. And grocery prices have doubled or even tripled in some locations. So it is even more important that we help our mission partners provide nourishment in Jesus’ name!”

Brenda Ayers, an organizer for the Fortville event, said in light of food insecurity in some places and political unrest in Haiti, said she and fellow worshipers are glad to be able to help meet needs in some way.

“We’re just excited to be able to help feed the hungry,” she said. “We’re just excited to be able to do it again.”

With this year’s event falling on Sept. 11, some elements of the day will have a patriotic flair. Americana decor will be among the items up for sale, and Hancock County Exchange Club will provide 30 American flags to line the way to the event.

In 2020, the church raised more than $14,000 for hunger relief.

Jett wrote that IDES has distributed more than $1.5 million in COVID aid, much of it going to hunger relief. Churches like Fortville Christian help make that possible, she wrote.

“We are grateful to all who host and support these critical Harvest events!”

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The fifth annual Harvest of Talents fundraiser is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 11 at Fortville Christian Church, 9450 N. County Road 200W.

Decor, furniture and other items will be for sale. Live and silent auctions are also planned.

Breakfast will be available at 9 a.m. and lunch at 11:30 a.m.

Car show registration runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with awards given at 3 p.m. Entry fee is $20.

Information: 317-485-4934;

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The Harvest of Talents concept dates back to 1983, when a woman in Illinois was moved by a sermon about world hunger. She urged fellow church members to join her in offering their talents at an event, with all of the funds raised going to feed the hungry.

For a couple of years, members of Fortville Christian Church helped make items that were sold at other churches’ Harvest of Talent events. In 2017, they began organizing such an annual event in Fortville.