Tessa and the “Stand Tall Boutique”

Tessa asked a brilliant question, “Hey mom, how come every year we raise money for children but there’s nothing at the event for children to buy?”

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Trey and Allison (last name?) live in Republic, located in Greene County, Missouri. Republic is a small town in the southwest corner of the state with a population of about 19,000. Trey and Allison received a grant from Sacred Selections a few years ago and adopted Will in 2016 [SS #161]. Allison, since that time has become a passionate worker and advocate for the mission of caring for the fatherless through adoption. 

In 2016, Allison contacted us about hosting an event in Arkansas, to be held in Siloam Springs. The inaugural year saw about 100 in attendance, and they raised a hair over $26,000 for the babies. 

Allison, Trey, and their family were just getting started! They have hosted the Arkansas event for seven years now, and in 2020 Allison started a new chapter of Sacred Selections in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Broken Arrow is in the northeast corner of the state and about 166 miles southwest of Republic MO.  Broken Arrow came out of the gate strong with over 120 in attendance and raising over $40,000. The Broken Arrow event has run annually for three years now.

Tessa Map

So, why the history lesson about Arkansas and Oklahoma? Glad you asked! Along the way, Trey and Allison’s daughter, Tessa, was watching, listening, and learning from mom, dad, and the Christians coming together every year to help the children. 

Tessa, from even the young age of five in 2016, had been involved each year, working side by side with her parents and extended family. When Will came home to Tessa’s family, she realized, “This is important!” In 2022, at the age of eleven and with several events under her belt, Tessa asked a brilliant question. “Hey mom, how come every year we raise money for children but there’s nothing at the event for children to buy?” 

Allison didn’t really have a good answer and certainly couldn’t say no to such a good question and a great idea. Mom and daughter went to work. Tessa reached out to family and friends and began to come up with ideas for “KID THINGS TO AUCTION”. The list and items grew and before the 2022 event in Oklahoma Tessa had a booth just for kids and they called it the “Stand Tall Boutique” featuring the handmade giraffe by Tessa’s great aunt.

Tessa's Stand

Tessa loves working with Allison. “Mom gives me ideas and helps me create things for the booth, that I can’t do all by myself.” She also loves the fact that each year the fundraisers become a “mini-reunion” for her and friends that live quite a distance away. Her friends were absolutely delighted to see Tessa’s booth and “stuff for kids.”This year the kids that came from surrounding areas not only had something to buy, but they also had something to do. 

The Oklahoma event this year was held in Broken Arrow on September 24th and had the theme “Join us for a bushel of fun”. The Arkansas fundraiser was held October 8th in Fayetteville with a theme, “Adoption is on the Way!” The Stand Tall Boutique was a hit. Parents of the kids that attended loved the idea and seeing their own kids engaged in the work. It added a new dimension for the fundraisers to become a real shared family activity.

Tessa Events

Next year, Tessa says, “I have plans for more kid things, especially for little kids.” 

When we asked Allison about her thoughts on Tessa’s idea, work, and the results, she emphasized, “I love seeing Tessa learn and grow. Understanding the importance of doing good work in the kingdom and the joy that comes with working alongside others.” Allison went on to say that word about the kid’s booth is spreading and other women are starting to collect things for next year. 

Tessa does have a great idea. It got younger children involved and she raised $300. 

This is, we believe a great story and example of how “to train up a child in the way they should go.” Caring for the fatherless has always been the way for God’s people to show His mercy and compassion.

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