Community garage sale leaves a long-lasting impact

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Allison Raisner

One of the volunteers cleans up the display table at the end of the sale.

Chances are, you’ve been to a garage sale or two in your lifetime. 

Annually, on the first weekend in February, Trinity Presbyterian Church hosts a garage sale. 

However, the term “garage sale” doesn’t do this event justice, as this year’s sale raised about $18,700.

The entire downstairs meeting area of the church, known as “Fellowship Hall,” the nursery, the upper-level Sunday school classroom, the hallways, and the other meeting area, or the “Fireside Room,” were all filled with donations. 

“The sale started in somebody’s driveway before it got too big, and then they started doing it at the church,” said Alicia Ledwith, who manages the sale along with Annette Caves. 

The sale funds go towards a service trip to Mexico that occurs over spring break and is open to all high school students. 

“The purpose of the sale is to raise money for the Mexico trip, and so we can go to Mexico and build houses for people who need it, and we get to work directly with the families,” said Mary Jane Hartman, a sophomore from Sequoia High School. This upcoming spring will be her second time going on the trip.

“Forty to 50 students go to Mexico to build houses with Amor Ministries, and they build four houses for people who are in grave need for them,” Ledwith said.

According to Hartman, pastors in Mexico will review applications from various families in the area, and they will select the families that will have homes built by Trinity. 

The trip brings the community together, as it involves students from several different schools in the area.

“The sale started through the church many years ago. The high school students from Sequoia, Carlmont, and a couple of other high schools all gather together for one cause; to raise money for this trip,” Ledwith said. 

The church had a staff collecting donations starting Sunday, Jan. 26, after the church service ended. The leaders of the garage sale, along with student volunteers, accepted and sorted donations throughout the week, until 9 p.m. Savers will buy the items that do not sell.

“There are tons of volunteers all week long, all the kids who are going on the mission trip are required to do a five-hour shift on the day of the garage sale, and then they can drop in once or twice throughout the week,” Ledwith said.

Ledwith also mentioned that parents help during the week of the sale and explains how the garage sale relies on the volunteers that come in. 

The sale started on Friday, Feb. 1, and people paid to get in for early entry. However, admission is typically free on the following Saturday and lasts all day, ending with a “bag sale” in which shoppers can fill a bag to the top and pay $15 for all of its contents. 

“I found a lot of great things at the sale, and I’m a teacher, so I got things for my classroom,  for myself, and my friends. Plus, I like supporting the mission trip,” said Jane Brinson, an attendee and a member of the church.