Thursday, October 2, 2008

Clothing and Toy Swap

This is one of the coolest ministries we have at our church. It is a Clothing and Toy Swap.
For several weeks we have those PODS set up in our parking lot. People from our church clean out their attics and closets and bring any clothing and toys they are not using anymore. This year we filled 2 HUGE PODS and many many more donations came in the day we sorted through it all.
A large team of volunteers comes in Friday before the actual event and sorts through all the clothing and toys. Men's, Women's, children, teens, coats, shoes (holy moly - the shoes!), baby stuff and the books and toys.
We then open the doors at next morning at 8:30 am.
300 people were waiting by 8 am!
All in all 1252 people came through the doors to collect clothing and toys that they needed. For FREE! The photos above are of the event.
What is most unbelieveable to me is the amount of clothing that was donated.
In just this little corner of the world.
One church.
Tons of clothing and shoes for a community in need.
What could all of our communities do? Really, no one should be in need of clothing and shoes in this world. After this past weekend, I realized there was enough just in our church to supply shoes for a small town!


Rebecca a.k.a. Mum said...

What a fabulous idea, you must live in a town of good generous people!

You know what worries me with things like this (and even regular thrift shops), is the greedy people that come and get the good stuff and then sell it on ebay or such for a profit for themselves....ruins the value of giving for goodness, and makes me very angry. :(

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Well, we did have that problem last year, Rebecca. People were coming in and literally shoveling clothing in bags without even looking at it. We did see some of it later on Craig's list and suspect that there were yard sales happening around town to make a profit. We even had items stolen from our church.

This is what we did.

First, we had security this year to roam around and just talk to anyone who they found doing that. And we put away anything in our church that we did not want stolen. Blocked off areas we didn't want people to go.

Second, before we let people in we announced to take what you need, as much of what you need, but not to just shovel clothes in bags without looking and to make a cash profit.

Lastly, we figured if people do this then they must need the money. So we determined not to question what they were doing or govern it much more than we did.

We finally realized that it is our responsibility to give it away and help others - what they do with it is between them and God.

Unfortunately, there will be there will always be people that do not make good choices when it comes to charity. I guess you just have to focus on the ones who truly need it and make that the vision.

Rebecca a.k.a. Mum said...

Sounds like you thought of it all Janel, and I hope that people will be more for the good of what it is meant than the good of their wallets.

I hope it is a huge success!!! :)

Jenn P. said...

That is amazing! It is wonderful that you were able to help so many people! I know I sure have a lot of stuff that I should be donating to something like this!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome ministry you have at your church. I would love to have something like that at ours, humm sounds like something we could start. I am on the women's ministry and we have a meeting on Wed. looks like I will be bringing this up. Glad you had a great turnout and had so many donations.

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