68 years of giving.
Year round mission and ministry.
Oh the things that our rummage operation has lived through and seen in those years!
Changes in economy, changes in technology, changes in the way folks purchase their goods, the big shoulder pads, the pleated pants, high waisted jeans… that are actually BACK in style!
A lot has changed over the course of 68 years. But have we?
That is the question we asked in the Rummage Ministry.
In order to really answer that question and how well we are providing for others with our mission, we have “hit the pause button” on the fall sale to take time to discern the entire operation. Plans are in place to make sure we meet our budgeted goals but the larger part of doing something like this is: what on earth to do with all the overflow donations?
To ensure quality of our Spring Sale, we are sorting and packing the best of the best and culling items in all departments which leads to almost 3 times the number of goods being passed on than we keep. And in true grace and serendipity, we have developed relationships with three organizations who are pleased to accept our pre-sorted donations!
As donations come in to First Presbyterian they are sorted and items that are sellable are then divided into categories: 2019 Spring Sale First Pres, WINGS, USAgain, and First Presbyterian Kenosha.
Meet our partner organizations in this mission:
WINGS provides a pathway to independence for women and children who are escaping from domestic violence and abuse. Their goal is to provide the tools and support necessary to ensure that survivors can escape their abusers and begin building new, violence-free lives. The WINGS Program staff oversee safe homes, shared homes and transitional housing in and around the Chicagoland area to help end the cycle of violence.
On a weekly basis, we donate overflow rummage sale items to the WINGS Program. We are helping to stock the WINGS Agency with needed items they provide to clients including: clothing, accessories, housewares, jewelry and furniture. Merchandise may also make it’s way to their resale stores in Niles, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg with all profits directed to assisting the families they serve on a daily basis.
Like clockwork, the WINGS truck or van comes to visit our team to pick up several bags of clothing, accessories, and furniture. They will also accept needed items such as toiletries.
It’s a tremendous partnership.
USAgain redistributes the discarded clothes we collect to places where there is a great need for these items, supporting the local and global economy in the process. By exporting textiles to struggling countries we generate revenue, create green jobs here in the US and abroad, and help to improve the well-being of people in America and around the world.
They are leading the charge to encourage the re-wear, re-use and recycling of clothes and other textiles. Extending the life of clothes and shoes reduces environmental degradation from the manufacturing of new clothing and makes for a healthier planet. Through their work, they hope to encourage people to consider sensible use of our planet’s land and resources.
Together, we can work to give clothes a second life and make the world a better and cleaner place for people to live.
Since clothing is our single largest items donated, this partnership is vital to our operation! They come to FPCLF weekly and pick up our clothing overflow.
First Presbyterian Church Kenosha became a partner recently when a past member of FPCLF, Jon Clair, reached out to us from his new church (Kenosha). Jon is very familiar with our sale and recognized that the overflow after our sale could enhance theirs!
For the past three sales First Pres Kenosha has been with us during our set up week and then gratefully taking unsold items directly after our sale closes on Saturday. And now we see their team weekly for pick ups! The success story here is the increase in sales they had after the first time Jon and his team began taking our overflow was 3 times what they made in their rummage sale in the past! An increase from $1,500 to $5,500! Think of the impact that makes to their mission partners!
And that is the joy.
By taking the time to review our own operation and how we are supporting not only our mission partners but meeting the needs of our own volunteers, we have touched the lives of even more people in a different way.
We hope that you will support us during this time of reflection and reorganization. This ministry connects us with each other and our community all year long and we welcome you to join our team for an hour, a day, a week or throughout the year.