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  • Jeanne Robson & Kate Boyce

Rummage Sales: Operating the Machine

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

A Need for Help and Change

An Excerpt from The Resurrection of the Rummage Sale:

Kate Boyce’s Announcement to Parishioners on Sunday, March 26

Rev. Barb's blog, in our Thursday newsletter this week, was a great introduction to what I was asked to speak to you about today. She talks about how our church is “witnessing the shoots of past Ministries returning and caring for the soil to prepare the bed for what is to come.” That we as a community of faith “must ensure that the conditions for nurturing growth are as ideal as we can make them and that it will require discernment, wisdom, consistency, presence and shared labor as we tend to this little patch of church that God has given us.” That is my starting point to talk about our rummage sale…

We’re looking for leadership and a Can-do Attitude!

We are looking to find a few people to take leadership roles in planning and executing the Rummage sales twice a year. We invite anyone who enjoys our annual sales to help! Listed below are crucial roles and tasks that ensure our Rummage sales are running smoothly. We are open to change and improvement!

Rummage Sale Directors: Jeanne Robson and Kate Boyce organize and oversee the fall and spring annual Rummage sales. Kate currently manages advertising and volunteer sign-up, using sign up genius system, but is willing to use a different system in the future. Jeanne manages the accounting of Rummage sales and will continue to do so.

Volunteer & Activities Coordinator: We are seeking someone to be the on-site coordinator for volunteer activities. This person will be responsible for locating and organizing volunteers, assigning volunteer tasks, and teaching new volunteers the sign-up genius system, if they're interested.

New Volunteers: Those with no Rummage Sale experience (but could have experience with yard sales, garage sale, etc.) are paired with experienced helpers. Some tasks for new volunteers that can be done alone include:

  • Electronics Tester – The job involves certifying that the items work and marking them as such, discarding any non-working items.

  • Large Item Pricer - The job entails pricing furniture and large items not on our price list. Someone who has experience working at yard sales or attending flea markets may be interested.

Seasoned Volunteers: Will be available on sorting days to answer questions for people dropping off. We also need people to intercept drop off materials we have defined as unacceptable such as large pieces of exercise equipment, textbooks, old fashioned tube type TV's and computer monitors.

Set up: On the Saturday before the actual sale, Tim Valera, our sexton, will oversee setup. Some individuals will be responsible for retrieving items from the Rummage Closet, such as the box with the card signs identifying types of Rummage, boxes of hangers that are placed under the racks, calculators for the checkout tables, and the price lists which are displayed. These coordinators will also help with assembling shoe racks and clothes racks and help carry heavy items.

Sorting Volunteers: During the sorting times, this would be the initial Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, coordinators need to be aware of donations that are unacceptable and kindly refuse them. Items must be sorted (damaged goods put in trash) and then placed out on the tables or hung on racks. We would like to have people who will coordinate this process on Monday and Tuesday, and they would work in shifts. Those who bring in items are asked to sort their own stuff. One volunteer for each period of 4 hours would be the point of contact during their shift. If we can have one or two people to cover each shift that would be great!

Sale Day Coordinators: These coordinators should have experience in at least two previous Rummage sales. We could use an outgoing, gregarious type of person who might want to grab the microphone and announce specific sales or draw people's attention to the items on the stage or remind people what good the money they spend here does for our community! The coordinators’ job would be to assign pairs of cashiers as well as place the security team and give jobs to all of those who walked in without signing up (although sign-ups are recommended so we have an idea of who is attending). Sale Day Coordinators are also responsible for tasks during sales including helping people take merchandise to their cars and aiding people in inclement weather to find shelter in the church. We also need people who stand at the end of the cashier table and help the flow of people to open cashier stations. Friday night we will have four pairs of cashiers in the hall and one pair for express (10 items or less) in the entry way from the church, so we also need people for security at the back of the auditorium and the main entrance.

Clean-up & Disposal and Pick-up: We are seeking someone to arrange for the pickup of our leftovers and organize cleanup when the sale is over. Whosoever Gospel Mission and Vietnam Veterans are examples of organization that come retrieve left-over rummage sale items. Organizations have their own rules about what they will and won’t take and how they want the items packaged. For example, Whosoever Gospel Mission will pick up bagged clothing and accessories on Monday after the sale and Vietnam Veterans will pick up a maximum of 25 closed boxes of things on Monday. The coordinator should be knowledgeable of which items are for which organization and assist in the clean-up process to make the space ready for Sunday Fellowship and our tenants!

Note: Individual coordinators do not have to assume the job alone! This is a team/ group effort. New volunteers are encouraged to assist in any way possible. Volunteers are just meant to be the “point person” for their part of the Rummage Sale operation.

As you can see, it’s a big job and we need a big team to assist in our plan to expand and delegate Rummage Sales in the future, so that we can continue this event. Rummage sale is our largest fundraiser for outreach and support for our church budget; it added $10,000 to our available funds last year. We hope to continue serving our St. Peter’s community and impacting the community around us.

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