The Women’s Ministry barn sale has come and gone again and we always have the same basic question. Where did all this stuff come from?! Well, we know where it came from. it’s just always amazing that a big barn full of stuff can appear each and every year without eventually cleaning the community out. It always starts with a few big loads. A woman dear to the congregation passed away last year and her children wished us to take a great many of her things for the sale. The grandmother of a member of the congregation moved to an assisted living facility and, following a yard sale, the family donated a lot of the items from her full-sized home for the sale. One neighbor’s mother passed away. Another neighbor’s father passed away. Books, clothes, and other such things moved into the barn. And then, people who know about the sale give us the fruits of their spring cleaning. So it goes until by truckload, trunk load and arm load – in bags, boxes and baskets – stand-alone furniture items – both levels of a good sized barn are full to the point of overflowing.
There is always a good supply of clothing. There is often a lot of furniture. There will be a toy department. Some years there is a good selection of tools. We generally get a lot of glassware and kitchen stuff. This year there was an enormous cache of high-end Christmas décor. We also got a great big chaise lounge like I haven’t seen since I was a kid! For the second year in a row we had a nice working hospital bed. And It never fails that there will be a few items we have sold in past barn sales come back around.
As the stash builds up through the winter, some items will be distributed to folks whose needs we become aware of. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty when barn sale season arrives! Somewhere around the first of May the ladies start sorting and organizing (and also pre-sale buying) even as more is coming in daily. As the sale date draws near, all pray for good weather so we’ll be able to put a lot of things outside. Otherwise, it will be really tight in the barn! Somehow or other, it all comes together and the community shows up hunting bargains.
When it’s all over the ladies will have raised a few thousand dollars and a lot of stuff will have been carried out – nevertheless, the barn is still pretty full. Some of it will be recycled as paper and scrap metal. Remember all that Christmas stuff I mentioned? We became aware of another congregation in the community that has a Christmas Store kind of rummage sale as a fund raiser. We took them a big truck load of Christmas goods – and we sold about half of what we had! Most of the rest goes to other local ministries (This year three big truck bed and twenty-foot trailer loads) where it will be distributed to folk who can use it. A little bit of the right kind of thing will go to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store.
To quote Hannibal Smith, I love it when a plan comes together!
Pastor and Author Terry Bailey, Senior Minister of Indian Run Christian Church