By AMY WENGER
WAKARUSA — It would be difficult to find a more devoted group of shoppers than the ones who travel to Wakarusa twice a year for the Children’s Resale.
Visitors know that the trip is a marvelous opportunity to share faith, fellowship and frugality. Yet they also feel reassured that they will come away having contributed mightily to a worthwhile cause.
The first presentation of this year’s Children’s Resale will take place Saturday at Wakarusa Missionary Church. The doors will open promptly at 8 a.m. and guests can browse and shop until 1 p.m. Goodie bags will be given to the first 600 shoppers. Guests are advised to dress appropriately for the weather conditions, as lines for admission tend to begin early, and it is also recommended that patrons bring baskets or bags to carry their purchases.
Two entire levels of the church, spanning more than 5,000 square feet, will be brimming with spring and summer children’s essentials, including clothes, outerwear, toys, nursery decor, bedding, shoes, books, games, and far more. There are also several specialty boutiques presenting apparel and other features for juniors, expectant mothers and twins. A second version of the resale, which will offer items designated for fall and winter, is already being planned for this coming fall.
The Children’s Resale attracts both interest and crowds from miles away, with thousands of shoppers looking over a massive inventory brought forth by more than 300 local families who have gently used clothing and other items that they no longer need.
The sellers, in turn, will receive 85 percent of the profits garnered from their sales. Those who contribute their previously worn clothing and other goods set their own prices, all of which are marked at considerable discounts in comparison to retail, which makes the Resale an appealing option for budget-conscious families.
The remaining 15 percent of the proceeds is further distributed to several groups benefitting the regional community, with family oriented organizations throughout Elkhart County receiving 10 percent of the total sales. This is a significant change from previous sales, when the amounts were established at 90 percent for sellers, and five percent each toward charities and sale planning expenses. The final 5 percent is still retained by the Children’s Resale committee for administrative costs, but the increase in contributing to the local entities will be of tremendous assistance.
Last year, the spring and fall resale events raised $12,000, which went to aid charities including Reason Enough to Act (RETA) of Elkhart, Family Christian Development Center (FCDC) of Nappanee, and the Women’s Care Center/Babe Store of Elkhart.
The Children’s Resale takes months of planning, with more than 200 community volunteers and 50 committee members to execute its efficiency. Because of the surge in local support and the success it brings to so many, the Resale has become a model through which several other cities and towns have created their own sales. In recent years, there has also been an impressive rise in interest from the business sector, with dozens committed to sponsorship, offerings, and other tokens of support.
“We are excited to see so many local community members investing in the lives of hurting families in an effort to reach out and do what they can,” said Resale Coordinator Sarah Freitas. “If we all do a little bit, it adds up to being able to help families that might not have been able to provide needed items for their families.”
For more information on the Children’s Resale, including details on how to become a seller for future sales, contact Resale Coordinator Sarah Freitas at (574) 862-1628 or Advertising Coordinator Christy Kulp at (574) 606-7343. Freitas can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com, while Kulp’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Resale also has a detailed website, which is located at www.freewebs.com/wakarusaresale.