If you walk into the Belk’s customer service area, you might see something familiar — only smaller.

For four years the department store has been helping Hope Village for Children’s fund-raising efforts by handling the sales of all their miniature versions of the Meridian Carousel horses.

Myles Frank has been working with the little horses the whole time.

“We got the first order just in time for Christmas four years ago, and we sold out in 10 days,” Frank said. “We’ve been doing this ever since.”

He said whenever a new full-sized carousel horse is unveiled, he takes pictures and sends them to a company in Hong Kong.

“At that point they usually make around 50 and send them to us,” he said.

Belk’s, formerly McRae’s, helped Hope Village from the very beginning.

“At first it was the carousel books, and they sold those, and took no commission at all. They now handle the sales of our miniature horses,” Frank said.

Frank says several gift shops in the area were contacted and asked if they would help sell the horses — but Belk’s was the only store willing to sell the horses for nothing in return.

Terri Province of Hope Village for Children said the proceeds from the sale of these horses have been invaluable.

“The community has really rallied around and have been very supportive, not only in the miniature horses, but also the full-size horses,” Province said. “It’s been wonderful.”

Province said that, overall, the horses have generated about $70,000 for Hope Village.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the miniature horses, you can get them at Belk’s department store in Bonita Lakes Mall. They are $15 each and can be bought at any time of the year.

Also, if any business owners are interested in one of the full-size horses, like those seen throughout town, you can still get them for a limited time.

For $2,500 you can get a full-size carousel horse that artistically represents your business. Production of the horses could stop at the end of January. All the proceeds go to Hope Village for Children, a residential home for abused and neglected children.

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