Saturday May 9, 2015
The Rummage Sale
First Church 73rd Rummage Sale is coming up! Each year, more than 100 members and friends of First Church volunteer to set up, sort, arrange, price and sell clothing, accessories, household goods, small furniture, books and media, toys and games, small electronics, tools, art, etc.
Proceeds go directly to the Stained-glass Window Fund, and the Partner Church and Social Action Committees. Known for its community-building and camaraderie, the Rummage Sale serves both the local and greater-Boston communities by providing high-quality, low-cost items to the public. After the Sale, unsold merchandise is given to non-profits for their own use or resale. Everything possible is recycled, rather than entering the waste stream.
The forerunner of the Rummage Sale, began in the 1890’s, was the “Lend A Hand Society,” a Unitarian, denomination-wide social outreach program to assist people in need. The Belmont Unitarian Alliance at The First Church held Rummage Sales at least from the 1950’s through the mid-1990’s. After that time, several individuals managed the Sale with Church-wide volunteer assistance. The Partner Church Committee became involved in the 2000’s, and in recent years the Social Action Committee has provided the leadership to hold the Sale each year.
From at least the 70’s, profits from the Sale funded church projects and purchases. The Stained-glass Window Fund, financing the maintenance and repair of the Church’s historic stained glass windows, had been the primary recipient. Past purchases from Rummage proceeds for the building have also included the previous commercial refrigerator for the kitchen and our automated external defibrillator.
Rummage Sale Committee and Volunteers
Currently the Rummage Sale Committee consists of three coordinators who oversee the entire sale. About 5-10 section leaders manage smaller parts of the Sale, with all sharing the workload. This year we are seeking one more volunteer coordinator to oversee the sale and several more to organize various sections. Please contact the Social Action Committee if you are interested in being part of the Sale. Opportunities are varied, with something for everyone.
Any member or good, active friend (lacking formal membership only) of The First Church can volunteer. Volunteers who work for at least 2 hours are eligible to attend the Pre-Sale held Friday evening in order to purchase items for their personal use only, not for re sale.
After the Sale, some volunteers separate and transport certain items to targeted charities, limited only by the availability of volunteer help. In the past, recipients have included Dress for Success, Bristol Lodge, the American Friends Service Committee, Angell Memorial Hospital, the Arlington and Belmont Public Libraries, Rosie’s Place, the Women’s Lunch Place, Renewal House, Transylvania, coats for Headstart, Pine Street Inn, “Shoes for Africa,” More Than Words, Boston Veterans’ Center, Cradles to Crayons, Cambridge charities, and many other non-profits. The remaining unsold items are then taken to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
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