There was a sizable number of items this weekend at the semi-annual rummage sale hosted by the United Methodist Church of Elgin. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday United Methodist Women President Becky Bremenkamp and local UMW volunteers staffed the event. This sale was much anticipated as COVID-19 concerns prevented the sale in 2020.
The plans for this event were not thrown together. Hours of sorting and tagging donated items made the sale possible. All year round, locals donate items to the church and a handful of UMW volunteers spend countless hours organizing them. It is this meticulous preparation that enables things to go smoothly during the sale weekend.
Event proceeds support Oklahoma Methodist Conference missions, United Methodist Men and local church maintenance. However, there have been times when locals in need have been permitted to pick out clothing and other items at no cost. Fire victims or people who have simply fallen on hard times have been helped this way. When the need has arisen, the church steps up.
The part the community plays in the rummage sale does not go unnoticed either. According to church member Deborah Hastings, it would not be possible without the help of the community. Various items pour in all year including clothing, books, appliances, furniture and toys. UMW members get together to organize the donations, individually pricing every item. Any items remaining after the sale are donated to Goodwill. Although the event is open to anyone, Pastor Tom Trautman points out that for those in need, there is some dignity maintained in even paying a small amount for items, especially on the last day when customers can take home a grocery bag of items for one dollar.
Most donations are clothing, but other items do appear, some admittedly random. This year more than a few hospital chairs were donated. When they did not sell, several were given to local nursing homes who did not have the funds in their budget to purchase them. Overall, the rummage sale was a success. Organizers are happy with the outcome and all the hard work of the volunteers paid off. The church plans to have another sale in the fall and has faith the community will continue its generous support.