Sunday, June 09, 2019

See you in September!

In 1922, a group of charity-minded neighborhood women, each representing a different worthy cause, pooled their resources and bought a house. A huge Victorian. They reasoned that they could hold "yard sales" all year around, not just when weather was permitting. Because, let's face it, in Chicagoland it gets cold, it snows and it rains (and rains).

During the Depression, the house meant even more to the community. When money was tight, families that once only came there to donate cast-offs found they needed to shop there, as well. For back-to-school clothes, for the flatware a bride needed for her first kitchen, for books and magazines, for fabric and sewing materials, etc.

Now it's beloved not only as a fundraiser, but as the ultimate example of recycling. The items that are sold, the hangers they're displayed on, the bags you carry your purchase home in -- none of it is new. All donated. All getting a second life before just going into the landfill.

I give you this preamble to explain why my visit yesterday left me wistful. June 8 was their last sale of the year. For the house simply too big to efficiently air condition and it gets hot in there on sunny, humid days. As of 3:00 Saturday, it closed until September.

I didn't really need anything, but I wanted to be part of the last sale day. In their efforts to clear as much out as possible before closing for summer, they marked everything down. Just about everything in the first-floor rooms was $1.* I ended up with a bright pink t-shirt, a black t-shirt, and a pair of sunglasses, all for $3.

I did see people leaving with those massive Bath Bed and Beyond bags filled with stuff, though. That made me happy, because the proceeds go to:

•  A daycare center that charges on a sliding scale, depending on what the family can afford (the organization was around back in 1922 and has benefited from these sales ever since)
•  A clinic that provides medical and dental care to children whose families can't pay for private health care
•  Senior services, especially transportation to/from medical appointments
And my two favorites ...
•  The food pantry
•  The animal shelter

*I didn't venture down to the basement, where books, hardware and small appliances are sold.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a wonderful organization. We have a nice local charity shop here--I donate a lot to it.