Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 18, 2012

Children’s Resale a big draw in Wakarusa

WAKARUSA — Arrive early, dress accordingly.

Sound advice from organizers of Wakarusa Missionary Church’s Children’s Resale event coming up Saturday. This is their 11th time at it and are expecting their usual crowd.

The doors will open promptly at 8 a.m., and guests will be welcome until 1 p.m. The church is located at 202 W. Waterford St., two blocks west of downtown Wakarusa.

Along with arriving early and dressing for the weather (people could be standing outside for awhile), shoppers should take along bags or baskets to carry their purchases. The first 600 in attendance will be given goody bags filled with various coupons and other merchandise from local retailers. There will be gift certificates awarded through drawings to ticketholders awaiting their chance to shop.

A multitude of racks and displays spanning 5,000 square feet will showcase clothing designed for spring and summer wear in sizes ranging from infant through young adult. Multiple levels of the church will be brimming with apparel and other necessities, including shoes, books, toys, newborn gear and furniture, maternity fashions, videos and digital video discs, games and Christian devotional materials. There is also a twin boutique, and new this spring, the addition of “The Loop,” a section devoted to juniors including expanded sizes, with dressing areas for fittings.

The Children’s Resale is a coordinated affair that happens twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. More than 200 locally based committee members and volunteers spend many hours each season preparing for the weekend. More than 300 sellers take their gently used, good-quality items to the planning committee to be tagged and displayed, with each seller receiving a 90 percent share of the profits on what is sold.

Another 5 percent of the proceeds and a portion of unsold items is distributed among various local agencies that specialize in assisting families facing personal, spiritual and professional crises. Reason Enough to Act, Family Christian Development Center, Mothers of Tots to Teens (MOTTTS) of Wakarusa Missionary Church, The Compass and the Women’s Care Center/BABE Store of Elkhart have all been beneficiaries of this endeavor.  The remaining 5 percent of the profits remains with the resale committee, to help defray organizational costs.

Since the resale’s inception in 2007, families in challenging circumstances have been granted a special invitation to shop the preview sale held the previous Friday evening. Those families were presented with monetary coupons that flowed in from mostly private donations, helping to further lessen the financial burden of providing clothing and other essentials for their children.

And now the spirit of generosity extends well into and beyond the Wakarusa region, as a recently implemented program allows area entrepreneurs and businesses to lend their support as well. Through the creation of what is deemed the Partnership Program, entities from the corporate sector pledge to offer gifts of money to a fund, which in turn goes directly to families facing hardship.

During the resale held in the fall of 2011, the donations amounted to more than $6,000 and benefited 185 local families. One local teacher who was recovering from serious illness was given a check for $1,000 to help offset her family’s expenses.

So far, in planning for the approaching resale, the committee has received more than $6,000 to once again benefit families in the Wa-Nee community.

Several nearby cities and towns have become inspired by the goodwill sentiment of what occurs in Wakarusa, and have since launched successful resale efforts of their own, including Bourbon, Mishawaka, Angola, and Ligonier, as well as Grace Community Church in Goshen.

“Businesses, childcare facilities, and churches have joined together to invest in our community by providing cash donations that are allocated through the resale for families in need throughout the community,” said Resale coordinator Sarah Freitas. “We are so 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. 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 summer items for their families.”

For more information on the upcoming Children’s Resale, including how to register as a seller for the fall sale, Freitas can be reached at 574-862-1628 or via e-mail at wakarusaresale1@frontier.com.

The phone number for Wakarusa Missionary Church is 574-862-2102, and the resale’s website can be viewed at www.freewebs.com/wakarusaresale.

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