TORRINGTON – The basement of the First United Presbyterian Church was filled with donated items from the community on Friday and Saturday for the women’s group annual rummage sale to support local, national and international causes.
According to Kay James, co-moderator of the women’s group, the rummage sale has been going on since the 1960s. In the past, the group used to donate to the hair dresser at the senior care center. This year it will go towards out-of-town transportation for the senior center.
“People that may have trouble affording the cost of going to Scottsbluff or Cheyenne and coming back we have now started donating some funds that the senior center can use,” James said.
The group also donates to Caring and Sharing, the Safe House, WYO Help and the Boy Scouts.
Along with local organizations, some of the funds raised by the group go to the national Presbyterian women’s group which go toward helping national and international causes as well.
“Some of the projects they’ve done is the Presbyterian women have supported missions in Africa and other low-income areas to buy sewing machines and teach women to sew so they can be independent,” James said. “They’ve been a proponent for education for girls and women in many places in the world.”
On the national side, James said the group has supported education, free child care and resettlement across the country.
Friday’s rummage sale lasted from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. while Saturday went from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and featured a “bag sale.” Community members participating in the bag sale purchase a paper bag for $2 and can fill it up with any items which were not specially marked and then purchase a second bag for $1.
The event relies heavily on the community as all the items are donated and then purchased by members of the community.
“They’re all donations from the community. The whole community including people that have belonged to this church,” James said. “We don’t really know where we get them because we just have it show up at our doorstep.”
In the early days of the rummage sale there would often be two events organized in the year. Although the group has recently cut down to one rummage sale a year they will continue the event on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, at the same time due to the large inventory they still have.
James said donating to the rummage sale is much more useful than simply throwing items away.
“We got some very nice things and if we weren’t here selling it, it probably would have gone to the landfill maybe,” James said. “But if we can use it and use it for our own community, that’s what we’d like to do.”