The Doing Good blog follows area charities and social service agencies.

About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Doing good while shopping

A recent story in our business section reminded me the holidays are fast approaching. I didn’t take this as good news. As a mom and a religion and social services reporter, the holidays are absolutely crazy for me. And they’re a good time to learn the art of multitasking. Here’s one way; you can get some shopping out of the way while helping some local youth. Check out these opportunities. And if you find any other holiday time-saving tips, be sure to send them my way. Thanks!

MissionFish for Autism Clinic:

Stratocaster. Handmade jewelry. Quilting fabric. Sweaters. Halloween costumes.

You can buy these items and help the University of Mary Washington’s Autism Clinic and Play Lab. The Play Lab helps children with autism and related disorders while teaching university students about autism. The clinic is raising funds through an Ebay charity auction. To shop, click here.

Craft fair for teen moms:

An upcoming craft fair will raise money to help teen moms stay in school, by subsidizing their day care costs. The craft fair is Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Riverbend High School (12301 Spotswood Furnace Road in Spotsylvania). Admission is free.

A limited number of vendor spaces are still available. All proceeds from the purchase of vendor spaces benefit the Childcare Assistance Fund, which enables teen parents to finish high school by supplementing the cost of daycare. Last year, nine students benefited from the Childcare Assistance Fund.

For craft fair registration information, or to learn more, visit Or, contact Karey Spears (540/846-6490 or To learn more about how you can support the Program for Teen Parents, contact Joan Gillis (540/582-3980 or

Holiday shopping for kids in need:

The Fredericksburg Area Service League will hold its annual Merry Market, a popular boutique craft fair, on Nov.6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Center in Fredericksburg. The fair will feature one-of-a-kind creations, including jewelry, soap, artwork, pottery and clothes.

Admission is $4 at the door; children under 12 are free. Proceeds will benefit an area organization helping children in need.