The are gearing up for the church’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the 34rd Annual Gala Rummage Sale.
Featuring clothing for the whole family, furniture, housewares, sporting goods, DVDs, books and more, the sale will take place on on Sun., Aug. 19 from 1-4 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Sat., Sept. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($5 bag sale on the last day). The church is located at 646 Prospect Street at the corner of Tuscan Road in Maplewood.
“It’s a completely green way to shop,” said Connie Cosgrove, who is spearheading the event. “People donate their unwanted stuff and then the money others spend to buy it goes to charity.” Those charities include:
- Maplewood First Aid Squad
- Planned Parenthood
- The Safe House, an emergency shelter for battered women in Bloomfield, NJ
- Covenant House New York
- The Solar Cooker Project of Jewish World Watch, which provides solar cookers to Sudanese women in refugee camps
- Tree of Life Center
- Clinton Avenue Presbyterian Church Feeding Program
- World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian organization Presbyterian Disaster Relief
“I've been volunteering as a rummage sale worker for the past 23 years,” said Debbie Nicholson, who runs the Fashion Boutique. “It's a real team effort comprising a lot of hard work, friendship, laughs and good times.”
Nicholson recalled one year when the women received a large donation of size 2 women’s suits. “We wondered if they would sell,” she said. “Then in came a tiny young lady who had just graduated from Seton Hall University and needed suits for her new job. She was so thrilled that it brought her – and us – to tears.”
The rummage sale began as a small event and grew over the years, said volunteer Joady Anderson. “The original main purpose remains to raise money to donate to a variety of mission causes, many located locally, as well as some national and international ones,” she said.
“We like to think of what we do as a 3-for-1 donation,” Anderson said. “First, you benefit those who can't afford new items, then you benefit missions we send the cash to, and finally, you benefit the charities to which we funnel the unsold items. “