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Chesapeake Children Help the Needy

Holiday shop now open at Bunting Online Auctions

Ava Turner, Ellis Gustafson, Max Bunting and Charlotte Thon

      Like the Ireland boys you read about last week
[Teens Donate 4-H Hog to Charity: 
http://www.bayweekly.com/node/51320
 ],
more Chesapeake Country kids are using what’s close at hand to lend a helping hand.

         A holiday store run by children is now open at Bunting Online Auctions in Dunkirk. Proceeds from the shop will benefit Project Echo, a non-profit that provides shelter to the homeless in southern Maryland. The kids are also collecting new socks to be given to the homeless in Calvert County.

         The holiday shopkeepers, ages seven to 15, are the children and grandchildren of Bunting staff.

         “We are always looking for ways to give back,” says owner Dawn Bunting. “This store gives kids the opportunity to give back and teaches them how to run a business.”

         The kids got the shop set up and ready to open. Ten of them gathered over the weekend to open items, identify them, price and stage them.

         Charlotte Thon, 13, finds the store important because, she said, “I know it will bring Christmas joy to the community, and I feel happiest this time of year.”

         Currently, the costliest item for sale is a holiday floral arrangement priced at $12 — but valued at $60. “Most of the items are priced at $2 or $3,” Bunting said.

         “I think this is a neat way to raise some money for the people of Calvert County that need a little help this Christmas,” added Max Bunting, 15.

         The stock will stay fresh throughout the season. What’s on display at any time represents only about one-fourth of what’s available.

         The young shopkeepers will take part in all aspects of running the store.

         “The kids will take turns running the shop on Friday afternoons and all day on Saturday,” Dawn Bunting said. “During other times, our employees will run it.”

         Instead of weekly online auctions, the holiday shop is on location inside the auction house. The store — which will be open through December 8 and is cash only — is open during normal business hours.

         The idea for the new holiday store was planted in the spring.

         “We were cleaning out houses in April and came across quite a few Christmas items,” Bunting said.

         Lending a hand in the community is part of doing business for Bunting and her team. A portion of all consignment proceeds is shared with those in need.

         Open thru Dec. 8: TuWFr 10am-6pm; Th 10am-7:30pm; Sa 9am-2:30pm; 10745 Town Center Blvd., Dunkirk; 301-298-9300; www.buntingonlineauctions.com