My P.E.O. chapter held its annual fundraiser, a rummage sale, last Saturday. I devoted Friday to helping set up and Saturday to supporting the sale – both with my presence and my donations. I love the rummage sale because I always find great stuff. Here’s this year’s list:
Rival Crock Pot Cookbook (now I have one for the farm)
Fabric (a border print, 2 yards)
Napkins (2 sets for machine embroidery)
Flour sack towels for embroidery
7” zipper (zippers are becoming hard to find)
BHG’s Treasury of Christmas Crafts and Foods, 1980
Several novels, including Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which someone recommended to me as a “must read”
Various ceramics which caught my eye and said “take me”
A pair of loafers for Mike, new
A pair of the cutest stuffed bears in Christmas garb
A box of vintage all-occasion greeting cards
A 12-cup coffee pot
This year my real “find” was a 7-inch shelf or dresser doll produced by the Duchess Doll Corp in 1948. These dolls were mass produced cheaply and are not rare. This one has been well loved and seems rather fragile. Someone took the trouble to re-dress her years ago, but in her new life with me she will undergo a major make-over. I’ll just add that to my ongoing list of things I plan to do.
The rummage sale is always fun. It’s interesting to see what sells. A beautiful beaded holiday top was instantly located and went out the door first thing. A kitchen utensil that I recognized as matching some my mother had from the ‘20s also left early.
It’s also interesting to see what’s left behind. For instance, round placemats, gold in color, originally purchased for $12.00 each and showing no sign of wear, didn’t sell. In fact, several sets of "like new" placemats were left behind on the textiles table, which looked at the end of the sale just about as it did at the beginning. Clothing doesn’t sell. Toys and stuffed animals never sell. The jigsaw puzzles, nicely displayed, didn’t generate much interest, though they have in the past. No one wanted the punch bowl I donated. (I knew when we didn’t use it at Hallie’s wedding, we don’t need it, but I brought it back home rather than let it go to charity.)
Year to year, it’s unpredictable what will move. For instance, last year someone donated a collection of “Beanie Babies” which was still mostly intact at the end of the sale. We couldn’t give them away! This year a woman was asking for them. She buys them at rummage and yard sales and then ships them to her son who is in the service overseas. The servicemen then give them to the local children. But this year we only had two or three. So, I suppose a lot depends on who actually comes to the sale.
A rummage sale is a lot of work – set up, re-working the tables, watching the doors, negotiating with buyers (a thankless job, in my opinion) and then disposing of the remains, which looked to be about three-fourths of what we originally set out. So why do we do it? Well, in the end we took in $1577, and we just can’t think of another fund-raising activity that will enable us to so nearly meet our budget in just one weekend. KW