Most of the year, Andréa Womack is a care pastor for the New Beginnings Church in Harker Heights. But this month, she took on a new role: saleswoman.
Womack is one of several volunteers selling fireworks to local residents for the Fourth of July. Like other local churches and community organizations, selling fireworks each year has become an important means for raising funds.
“So far, things have gone very well for us and it has actually been a very fun experience,” Womack said. “All the customers have been very friendly and excited to buy from us.”
New Beginnings is selling their fireworks at Fireworks Warehouse on U.S. Highway 190 near the Paddy Hamilton Road exit. This is the first time the church has sold fireworks as a fundraiser in four years, according to head pastor Mike Tracy.
“The last time we sold fireworks for Fourth of July, we were able use the money to put a carpet in our sanctuary and buy a van,” Tracy said. “This year, we hope to use the money we raise for our ministry, and help send children to camp.”
While fireworks represent just one of the many fundraisers churches like New Beginnings hold to help raise funds, fireworks offer a unique and potentially lucrative opportunity.
Prices of items this year rage from as low as $5 for a pack of “Piccilo Pete” style fireworks up to nearly $650 for “The Big Bang” — a variety pack that includes the maximum amount for fireworks allowed by law.
In order to help customers find the right fireworks, Tracy said he and the other volunteers-turned-sales staff made an effort to hone their knowledge about the products.
“We had a little training, and learned about the different kinds (of fireworks) and what they do,” Tracy said.
Womack said location was another important factor in ensuring successful Fourth of July fireworks sales.
“Being in a visible building right off U.S. Highway 190 is really great,” Womack said. “We have been getting a lot of soldiers and families from Fort Hood.”
In addition to a highly visible location, both Womack and Tracy said they also tried to tell as many friends, family and fellow churchgoers as possible about the stand.
“We started and went through the network of our church,” Womack said. “You also start to tell the other people around you to come in.”
All the effort to bring customers in during a competitive season appears to have paid off. Since opening Monday, Womack said she has seen a steady stream of customers.
“We have even had people coming in more than once to buy more,” she said. “We are very hopeful.”
Vendors will continue selling fireworks though midnight Thursday.