The first annual Oak City Market was hosted on Aug. 28 by the SD Allen ministry to raise money for buying new beds.

The furniture ministry was able to fill 26 booths with many different types of vendors. This included local favorites like Turbo Coffee, T-Town Snow, Love Inc., Gray Room Archive, Slate Vintage, Free Spirit Designs, and JAX Essential Fabrics.

Jeff Hurn, the founder of SD Allen ministries, said he was happy with the number of people that came out and supported them.

Andrew Gill, the operations manager for Love Inc., is a national organization that works to improve the lives of homeless people and those in poverty. He said they decided to have a table because they worked with SD Allen and wanted to support them.

"They help us in facilitating some of the needs of our clients, and then they do a great job of being in the community," Gill said.

Patricia Perkins, a staff member at Calvary Baptist Church, ran a booth selling crafts she makes in her spare time.

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She decided to run a booth to "help raise money for some of [her] friends that are adopting a child" and to benefit SD Allen.

"I think [SD Allen is] amazing," Perkins said. "I mean, they've been able to get hundreds and hundreds of kids off the floor and on to mattresses, and it's just an incredible ministry. So we're lucky that we have it here in town, and it's an easy thing to donate to. I've donated furniture myself. I had an old refrigerator they picked up and took it right to another family."

Many people from a wide variety of lifestyles also attended the event.

"So you've got college students who are coming through and a couple [of] people seeing it on the street stopping by," Hurn said. "I mean, you can look around and see the demographics. You got anybody in every age group here, [even] families with strollers."

Many individuals came out because they support the ministry. Willie Fort works with the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority and came out to support SD Allen.

"We have families [who] move into apartments [and] they have no furniture," Fort said. "They have basically nothing. But because of this program, they are able to furnish their apartment off for their families and their children."

Jalen Connor, an employee at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, said he and his brother decided to come to the event to thrift.

"We just came out here to look around and see if we could find any interesting stuff that pops out to us," Connor said.

SD Allen sold drinks and raffle tickets at the event. Hurn says that he would like for the event to be bigger next year.

"If we continue to have success – I think we will – we want more people to partner with us next year to make it bigger, have more vendors, more food trucks, all that good stuff," he said.

For more information on Oak City Market and SD Allen Ministries, click here.

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