So if you've asked me about my job at any point over the past four months, chances are I have mentioned that I am planning a mission trip for the youth of our church to go work at a school and an orphanage in Manila for one week this summer. You probably also already know how excited I am about this trip :) Mission trips are such a great opportunity for young people to experience a new place and to begin to understand how blessed we are as Americans, or even pseudo Americans here in Guam. Not to mention, youth here in Guam don't have the same opportunities that others back in the States do to go to things like summer camp or road trips. The problem, though, is that we have to fly anywhere we could go, which automatically makes the trip expensive and cost prohibitive for families, especially those with multiple teenagers.
Being aware of this, we decided we'd host a few fundraisers to help defray the costs. You already read about the Valentine's Dinner we did in February, which brought in a shocking $1,000. Last year the youth also did a rummage sale to raise money for their retreat to Saipan. They brought in $2,500 from that event. My pastor warned me it was a lot of work, but I figured it was worth it for the funds we would raise. So back in January I started asking our church for donations to the sale. Several people who were moving off island donated whole truckloads of appliances, household goods, clothing, and electronics. Others donated their leftover garage sale items for us to sell.
And one big score, a guy called our church asking us if we could use a donation of furniture. Turned out he was trying to unload his entire condo full of stuff before moving back to the US and getting out of the Navy. This enormous donation was a complete God send. We were able to sell his beautiful and practically new couch, bed, bedroom furniture, electronics, and video game systems on Craigslist in the weeks leading up to the sale. So before the sale ever started, we had already made close to $2,000. Pretty amazing start.
So the craziness of the actual sale started last Wednesday night. After the Lenten service, we moved the chairs out of the sanctuary and started hauling in donations stored in the garage. The following day, we loaded up two trucks of stuff from a friend's garage, where we stored donations when our church ran out of room. We then went and picked up two MORE truckloads from the used bookstore that recently went out of business (after 29 years of being open on Guam... apparently Kindle is to blame - sad!!). Church members continued to drop off more stuff and we got to work sorting like crazy.
The next day, Friday, we hosted a pre-sale for our congregation and parents of the preschool at our church. I got a call that morning from other church staff saying that people from the public had started showing up already---a day early! The local newspaper ran our press release about the sale. Apparently garage sales are the only thing that Guamanians show up early for! As you can imagine, there is a HUGE market for used goods on the island. It's so expensive paying to ship everything here, so used goods can also be sold for more money than they would in the States, and things like this rummage sale attract a lot of attention from the public. My worries were assuaged a bit learning that people knew about the sale and were already showing up.
|Check out the gorgeous view of the ocean from our sanctuary!|
And of course, wherever there are youth, there is always fun... and a goofy shot:
And more goofyness :)
|No shortage of ridiculous finds|
6th grader in a box
All in all a very successful weekend. And man am I glad it's over!