Children's resale set for this Saturday

WAKARUSA — Just as surely as warmer weather signals the advent of spring, there comes the arrival of one of Wakarusa's most eagerly anticipated events. It's a sprawling, spiritual shopping adventure that draws impressive crowds often spanning across two states.

It is once again time for the annual Children's Spring and Summer Resale, which will take place at the Wakarusa Missionary Church March 26 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The church is located at 202 W. Waterford St. just west of downtown Wakarusa.

More than 300 participants have brought their finest gently-used children's items to give to others, including spring and summer clothing, toys, books, games and videos, and infant items and apparel, to mention a few. There is also a "twin boutique," women's Christian books and devotionals, and maternity wear.  Each seller will recoup 90 percent of the profits from their donated items that are purchased, with five percent used by the committee for administration fees and advertising. The remaining five percent of proceeds is distributed to local charities and families in need. 

As many faithful shoppers can attest, the best advice one can heed is to arrive early. The resale, which has been a twice-a-year draw for the town since 2007, generally attracts shoppers well before the doors open. There will be a special incentive for those who line up early, as goody bags will be given to the first 1,000 shoppers (one per family).
The volunteers who assemble and organize the resale will offer another chance for guests to shop in the fall, as has been the case in previous years.

Donna Love, one of the many volunteers who has donated her time and energy to the planning of the resale, said the spring sale is rapidly catching up in attendance to the autumn sale. 

"I'd like to say that the number of shoppers is normally up 200-300 in the spring," she said. "Everyone is so ready to get out of the house and do some summer shopping. It's also a good way for garage sale shoppers who have been cooped up all winter to start the season off with a bang."

Love is also excited about some changes that have been implemented for this year's resale, including the launch of a voucher program through which local businesses can offer their assistance. The vouchers are, in turn, given to families who have extenuating personal circumstances in their lives — a situation which has remained an issue for many in the Elkhart County region.

"The local businesses that have donated for our voucher program have allowed us to raise over $2,000, in addition to the $2,000 that we've already put towards vouchers," Love said. "We're making this sale more of a community event by allowing local sponsors to get involved."
 
Love said close to 80 area merchants have pitched in with financial support.

There are dozens of local volunteers who work hundreds of hours over the course of the resale, whether it is behind the scenes with paperwork, helping keep the traffic flow moving during the influx of crowds, or sorting through the hundreds of sale items. They receive no monetary incentive to participate, yet they will joyfully point out that they are driven to lend their talents through a higher calling. The resale is founded on the power and strength of Christian principles, and has proven so successful and inspirational that many nearby communities have founded similar sales in recent years.

The committee's work is reflected in its twofold mission statement, which reads, "To provide a well organized community event with the intent to help all local families provide an exchange of their unneeded children's items in accordance to Matthew 25:35...(and) To provide an outlet for families, particularly mothers, to work eagerly and vigorously to promote profitable trading while opening our arms and hands to the needs in our community in accordance to Proverbs 31."
And, as Love more succinctly puts it, "sharing in serving Christ through helping others."

For those interested in volunteering in any fashion for the fall sale, you may contact volunteer coordinator Sharla Weldy at 574-361-3571; seller coordinator Sarah Freitas at 574-862-1628; or twin boutique coordinator Paula Steiner at 574-862-1710.  There is also a detailed website with more information, which can be found at www.freewebs.com/wakarusaresale