When one travels with church groups one must partake in many, many fundraisers. This year we are taking a group of youth and young adults to Rome, Assisi and Lourdes. We leave July 1st (which is coming up really fast). This weekend is the rummage sale, my least favorite (and that’s saying a lot) fundraiser.
In general I am not a pack rat and I often purge my stuff because I hate it sitting around my house mocking me for not using it. I don’t shop garage sales, flea markets, or rummage sales. Not because I don’t want a good deal but because I hate sorting through other people’s toss aways. This is not to say I don’t have enough yarn to open a small store in my house but that’s yarn and it doesn’t count.
Setting up for the rummage sale it so depressing and overwhelming. On the yarn front there is always, every year, a plastic bag filled of acrylic yarn from the 1970’s that makes it way to the sale. I can barely touch it and usually someone offers it to me and I have to somehow politely decline. Last year there was a bag that had all the pieces to a sweater that had never been sewn together and one of the sleeves was still on a needle. Clearly whoever had brought that up had not gone through the bag. Note, it was out of awful, cheap acrylic.
It is just amazing how much stuff we humans consume. And what happens to all the stuff at the end of the sale? We donate it somewhere else but does it ever end up in one place or is it constantly being transported around to different sales and charities? These are the things I wonder at the rummage sale, I know I think way too much!
One of my other favorite parts of the rummage sale is when someone who has donated an item comes up to find out how much we priced it for and/or to see if it is sold yet. That happened at our sneak preview tonight. A lady had been wandering all around and finally came over and asked if the box of glasses she had donated had already been sold. She was elated to find out one of the children’s program at church had taken them to use in one of their activities. Too bad it doesn’t always end this well.
When I’m on a purge kick I do a lot of sorting and really think about whether someone would want or could use what I’m getting rid of and if I think it’s lived a long life I toss it. I’m apparently somewhat alone in that. It has become clear over the years that people just dump entire drawers, boxes, attics into bags and drop them off at church. I should have kept a list over the years of all the weird things we have found. Yesterday my Mom came up and helped price the holiday items and was equally amazed at what people donated. There are some really, really ugly holiday decorations out there!
There is also the rummage sale shoppers. They are a special bunch. This is clearly a hobby or way of life for these people. The enjoy the sport of haggling. And I have no idea what they do with all the junk they buy at our sale.
I know the saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” but I have a hard time with that every year at the rummage sale. So, let the fun begin!