Rummage Stories from June Beacon

posted Jun 4, 2012, 9:13 AM by Bryant Henry   [ updated May 5, 2015, 4:41 AM ]

What Rummage Sale Means to Me

Jay Brosten

My grandfather ran a fruit cart in Chicago.  One day he found an abandoned tire, put it in the cart, and ended up making more money from selling the tire than from selling his fruit.  Before long he got into the tire recycling business and my father followed in his footsteps.  Eventually my father became a pioneer in the auto recycling industry.  Today, my company, Auto Parts City Inc. in Gurnee, is a state-of-the-art auto recycling facility.  We process over 12,000 cars annually and recycle over 80% of the cars’ parts – metals, fluids, tires, and glass.

This multi-generational commitment to the environment attracted me to the rummage sale.  I first became involved in 1996 and currently provide metal and electronics recycling for unsold donated items, trailers for the storage of donations, trucks and labor for donation pickups, and a dumpster for disposing of waste.  In addition we donate abandoned personal items from our recycled vehicles to the sale.

The rummage sale keeps thousands of pounds of waste out of landfills, ensures that unsold items are recycled or properly disposed of, and provides affordable goods to shoppers.  Over the years, the sale has donated tens of thousands of dollars to social service organizations.  Working on the rummage sale has been a rewarding experience and has helped me build long lasting friendships.  It has been well worth the effort.

Fran Myers

Rummage Sale has become a (most unlikely) passion for me for so many reasons that I am unable to count them or even articulate all of them.  It is about helping our neighbors who have less than we do.  I love it when shoppers take a load out to their cars and then come back for more!  It is about saving the Earth one landfill item at a time.  How many plastic children’s toys, bikes, furniture have we seen go to happy recipients?  It is the smiles on the faces of kids as they clutch a toy they couldn’t otherwise afford.  It is about the wonderful friends I have made while sorting, lifting, and toting.  It is the delicious food brought in by church members to help keep us energized.  It is about giving back to our many community agencies which are working hard to help people in need.  For me it is Church at its very best and it feeds my soul.


Bob Werdan

The NSUC Rummage Sale means different things to different people.  I used to think “there must be easier ways to raise money.”  Lots of dedicated people work for weeks in advance, and then it’s over in a day.

Then about two years ago, it was late in the sale and a girl was spending a lot of time in the outside toy area.  I thought she was watching her sister, but she was actually trying to figure out what she could afford for her newborn baby.  This young mother was maybe 16 years old and she was clearly on a very tight budget.  She never asked me to reduce the price, but I could tell she was making lots of calculations as she asked the price for each item. I asked her which items she wanted and how much she could spend.  She did not have enough for everything, so I told her “since it was after 2:00 everything is half price” and I thought she was going to cry.  We packed her little car with a stroller, a highchair and a bag of learning toys.  She must have said thank you 20 times.  That’s what the NSUC Rummage Sale means to me.  You should might have your own story!

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