Mustard Seed hosts annual Christmas open house

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Mustard Seed’s Annual Christmas Open House took place on December 3rd, 2016, and it has been going on for 35 years. The Mustard Seed is a community of adults with developmental disabilities. It offers housing to these adults or allows them to stay for the day. It also includes many fun activities that these adults can participate in, including this fun Christmas event.

The gift shop opened its doors to hundreds of shoppers looking to buy pottery painted by the seedsters. When people purchase items such as ceramics, the money provides 20 percent of their total operating budget. Raffle tickets were purchased outside the shop to win one of four prize packages made by the seedsters.

The baked goods were sold by the dozens this year. For over 25 years, parents of the seedsters have baked cakes and other sweets to sell. Gloria Frazier, one of the parents of a seedster said that her favorite part of the event is, “being right here on the campus where they [seedsters] are. We all have children or siblings that live here.”

In the past, the money from the bake sale has gone to purchase things for Mustard Seed such as iPads or a flag pole. This year, the money is going to go to the seedsters trip they have planned to Atlanta. Mustard Seed is excited about taking the seedsters to Georgia, and the seedsters are just as excited about going.

The Bells of Faith, Mustard Seed’s handbell group, has been led by Debbie Burnham for the past 28 years. Although there are only 19 bell ringing positions, all of the seedsters help out in some way. “Watching them,” she said she could see, “the love they share between themselves and the acceptance.” While speaking to Mandy Sisson, an employee at the Mustard Seed, she said, “My favorite thing about the Mustard Seed are the parents that bring their potential seedster here and see this community that’s filled with people just like their seedster, and they instantly have friends and have been given opportunities that they may not have had before.

My favorite thing about the Mustard Seed are the parents that bring their potential seedster here and see this community that’s filled with people just like their seedster, and they instantly have friends and have been given opportunities that they may not have had before.”

— Mandy Sisson

“Here at the Mustard Seed, I am the minority, and they are the majority because everybody here is just alike. The most rewarding part about this program is seeing parents come and find this relief and joy that their family member now has this place to be surrounded by friends just like them.”

After speaking to Sisson, we discovered the true definition of this event. “This is a day where people can meet our seedsters families, go in the gift shop, and discover the activities center.

Maybe they have received a mug with a seedsters name on it and now they get to meet that person after drinking out of that mug for five years. Open house is just a day to let people see our entire campus because we want them to be able to see everything. We think it is just a fun day where we can open up to the community that gives us so much!”

Mustard Seed is an amazing organization that puts on events like this all year around. The warm and giving hearts of the workers and seedsters show in what they do and how they treat each other. If given the chance, stop by the Mustard Seed gift shop Monday through Friday from 9 am- 4 pm, or the second Saturday of every month.