This weekend myself and countless others will be volunteering (and, of course, shopping!) at the 2018 Parent Talk Spring Used Clothing, Toy and Equipment Sale, happening Saturday May 19th at the Christ Episcopal Church in Needham. The founding members of Parent Talk put on the first Sale in 1993, and since then it has mushroomed in both scale and popularity. Now it’s held twice a year, with shoppers and volunteers returning again and again, some for most or all of the Sales over the past 24 years.
If you’ve never been to the Sale before, it’s what I can only describe as an extravaganza of deals on quality gently used kid’s items. You can find everything from books to bikes, strollers to swimsuits. Proceeds support the Parent Talk organization, and all the items that remain after the Sale are donated to charities and non-profits. If you’ve been, but have yet to volunteer, know that a meager 2 hours of your time is all that is required to reap the reward of early shopping hours before the general sale is opened to the public. And if you’ve taken advantage of the early shopping, but have yet to join the Sale Committee, I’m here to tell you you’re missing out.
So here’s how the Sale happens from a general shopper’s perspective. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and everyone can have at all the fantastically priced stuff until 11:45 a.m. Then everyone cashes out, and those who’d like to take part in the Clearance Bag Sale are provided as many bags as they want, at a flat rate per bag. At 12:00 p.m. the doors reopen, and the shoppers have until 12:45 to cart out as much as they can fit in their bag(s); anything too big to fit is automatically reduced to half the tagged price. It’s fast, it’s fun, and everyone gets great stuff without spending a ton.
Sounds good, right? It is. But volunteering at the Sale is way, WAY better.
You get first pick of everything.
This is the most obvious perk, but I’d say not even close to the best. Still, allow me to share with you the mindblowingest of the many bargains that I personally found at the last Sale. Number one is a pink princess vanity table with mirror I snagged for a cool $20. I saw a similar one at Home Goods a few weeks later priced at $99. Number two is a full kid’s drum set, complete with little stool, pedal and drumsticks I scored for a jaw-dropping $35. I looked it up online later; $180 new. (On a side note, I’m aware that buying something like that for a 3 year old might be considered evidence that I’ve lost my mind – the truth is, my kid’s just got a really cool mom.) I also picked up a beautiful velvet dress with the price tag still on it, suede winter boots (in 2 sizes, you never know), puzzles, a box of wooden train tracks . . . . Let’s just say Santa was VERY good to my daughter this year.
The Sale is basically a pop-up, and as such a ton of energy, planning, and hard work goes into organizing and setting up a pretty large-scale event for a remarkably brief period of time. The past 24 years of mistakes, solutions, and ideas has fine-tuned the strategy and organization of the sale, resulting in an event that for all it’s many parts runs like a well-oiled machine. As someone who appreciates efficiency and preparation (in other words, as a mom) this is inspiring to witness. It goes by quickly, with never a dull moment. I feel weird saying this about volunteering at a fundraising sale, but it’s a rush.
You get to hang out with your friends.
And don’t tell me none of your friends are going to be at the Sale. I moved back to this area from NYC three years ago, volunteered at my first Sale this past October, and not only did I make new friends doing so, I ran into neighbors and people I didn’t even realize I knew at the Sale. This has to be the best perk of volunteering, whether you do the 2 hour gig or join Sale Committee for all the fun get-togethers too; you will have a great time socializing and meeting people in your community.
Your faith in humanity will be restored.
Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, and maybe your faith in humanity is fully intact, but if you wouldn’t mind a little positive upswing to your perspective, this could do it. There’s really nothing like working with other people toward a common goal to make you feel more connected to the world. Especially when you know that everybody is there because they want to be. It feels good to be a part of something positive, and to be supporting not only Parent Talk but the other great charities and non-profits that benefit from the Sale, including Cradles to Crayons, Circle of Hope, Room to Grow, Bayong Kulturang Pinoy Inc, Jeremiah Project and others.
In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, I personally get a great sense of satisfaction from the Sale because I abhor waste, and almost equally despise clutter. So I love that I can easily clear my closets of outgrown items guilt-free, and that something I want or need at the moment is there for me to use, instead of becoming more garbage. I also love saving money (don’t we all), and while I suppose I could buy a drum kit for my child at $180, I’m not about to. But now she has one, and she loves it. Almost as much as my neighbors do.
The Sale is almost upon us, but it’s not too late to sign up for a volunteer shift! So if you’d like to give some of your time to a good cause and have fun doing it, see how below. See you at the Sale!
Volunteer: email email@example.com for more info or sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c4ca4ae23a46-spring5
More info : Parent Talk Spring Used Clothing, Toy and Equipment Sale
Saturday May 19, 2018
Christ Episcopal Church in Needham
1132 Highland Avenue (across the street from Needham Public Library)
General Sale: 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Clearance Bag Sale: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.