FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Second Time Around Sale

This weekend is a busy one at my church – our largest fundraiser, The Second Time Around Sale takes place!  This is an annual, gigantic garage sale that utilizes several of the many rooms in the basement and on the first floor of our church building. Downstairs are the clothing, tools and sporting goods, toys, and holidays departments, and upstairs are housewares (one of the largest and most successful departments), jewelry, antiques, books, CDs & DVDs, popcorn sales, and homemade baked goods. Outside is the furniture tent and food sales (hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, chips, soda).

The clothing department. Items sell for a couple of dollars.
The clothing department. Items sell for $10 a bag (as much as you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag!)
Clothing department volunteers
Clothing department volunteers
antiques
antiques
Advertising for popcorn  sales
Advertising for popcorn sales

The last Sunday of every month is collection day. People clean out their basements, closets, summer homes, etc. and donate tons of items. It all gets stored on the stage behind the curtain and in the basement, until April when volunteers sort and price everything. On the three days of the sale, more volunteers work in each department to sell the items and collect the money, pack them, etc. People come from miles around to this sale and go around with shopping carts and huge shopping bags to find the best deals. You know the old saying: “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  We generally net between $15-23,000 on this fundraiser alone.

To celebrate this annual event, I am dedicating this week’s Flashback Friday to the Second Time Around Sale at First Congregational Church of Des Plaines, Illinois.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The same month that I went to that Bulls game in 1991 that I wrote about last week, I also bought some cheap furniture and housewares at the Second Time Around Sale to help furnish my ex-husband’s apartment. The lack of furniture and household goods seemed to be an excuse for him not to move out of my apartment and into the one he had rented, so I spent about $50 that year “encouraging” him to move by buying a floor lamp, a living room chair, some pillows, plates and glasses, a fan, and a dinette set.

All the volunteers on the days of the sale wear yellow t-shirts, which are washed and reused every year - if you don't get there early, they might be out of your size!
All the volunteers on the days of the sale wear yellow t-shirts, which are washed and reused every year – if you don’t get there early, they might be out of your size!
jewelry
jewelry

I have worked in various departments during the sale over the last several years, including the food tent (one year it was so rainy, cold and windy, that the tent barely provided any relief, and another year we were all sweating under the plastic tent with hot smoke from the grill billowing around us!), holiday (where I got a great deal on a Christmas tree that we’ve used ever since, and a set of Christmas dishes that I pull out every year for a family holiday dinner), housewares, and toys.

The food tent
The food tent
Getting into the
Getting into the “holiday spirit”!

I purchased a lot of games and cheap “prizes” for my students during the times I worked in toys, and every year I find something worth a dollar or so to buy in housewares!

The toy department is set up in the nursery in the basement.
The toy department is set up in the nursery in the basement.

One year we got a great crock-pot for $3, and I’ve also bought toasters and blenders for friends who have no money to buy things new.

Housewares, always a busy, popular department.
Housewares, always a busy, popular department.

Flyers go up around town and people take stacks of them to distribute at their workplaces. I have seen people I know from far-flung suburbs show up at our sale.

I think this year’s sale is the one to which I’ve donated the most: last September, family members met at our summer cottage in Northern Wisconsin to clean it out, since we are planning on selling it this year. We left furniture and household goods necessary to both show the place and stay there during warm months before it’s sold. Other than the basics, though, the rest had to be gotten rid of! There were nearly 50 years worth of accumulated stuff that either got thrown out or stuffed into bags for donation! We went to Minocqua, the nearest major town, to find out the hours of a donation center there – but alas, it was closed for several weeks! So we rented a trailer, filled it to overflowing, covered it with a tarp and hauled it back to Illinois in order to donate it all to my church’s sale!  The last Sunday in September, I kept the volunteers at church very busy as they unloaded numerous black trash bags stuffed with our cottage memories!

loading the trailer
loading the trailer
kitchen clean out
kitchen clean out
bags of stuff for the Second Time Around Sale
bags of stuff for the Second Time Around Sale

The last several years, I have been assigned to housewares, but this year I’m back to working in toys and the food tent. I’m in for a busy weekend!

Volunteers enjoy a lunch break with burgers from the food tent.
Volunteers enjoy a lunch break with burgers from the food tent.
Our pastor wears a sign advertising raffle tickets for
Our pastor wears a sign advertising raffle tickets for “split the pot” – half of the $$ goes to the church, half to the winning ticket.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s