This year, to mark the 75th anniversary, $7,500 will go to Hunger/Homeless/Housing charities. In addition, proceeds go to outreach organizations such as Partners Home Care; the Wellesley Food Pantry; Family Promise Metrowest; Wellesley ABC House; Wellesley Friendly Aid Camp; Wellesley Metco Scholarship Fund; Friends of Wellesley Senior Neighbors for Council on Aging (Senior Transportation); and many others.
Over 150 multi-generational volunteers, ages 12 – 95, organize and work the Rummage Sale. I’m one of those workers, and have been toiling away in the women’s clothing room, hanging up skirts, folding pants, and sending the cool designer stuff to the Boutique Room. It’s a volunteer activity that brings me back to that summer I worked at Marshall’s in the stock room, where I would unpack the boxes as they came off the truck, hang the clothes, and send the wheeled racks out the door to the older, more glamorous girls who got to actually BE SEEN on the floor as they displayed the discounted goods. But I digress.
My efforts, both at Marshall’s back then and in the church basement now, have nothing on a couple of ladies I caught up with at Village Church. They’ve been at it for decades and have held just about every position available on the Rummage Sale committee from Chair to simple volunteer. Julie Chapman, 92, has been working the Rummage Sale for 60 years. She grew up in Wellesley and was a WHS class of 1942 graduate as part of the second class to go through what was back then the “new” high school. She and her husband of 33 years (now deceased) raised two children in Wellesley and were always active in the church.
In her spare time Julie says, “I square dance twice a week. Just enough to keep the blood flowing to the brain.” This former Army WAC has the good cheer and working spirit of a woman half my age. She reluctantly left her volunteer duties a couple of hours after lunch only because she has promised her children not to stay from morning till night, as she used to back in the day. The kids claim she must take it a bit easier, and she has agreed to bow to their wishes in this matter. But the next morning she was back in the fray.
Betty Seaborn has been working the sale since 1975 and has chaired it in the past. She and her husband are part of three generations that attend Village Church. One of her three sons, his wife, and their children also attend and volunteer at the church. At the suggestion that maybe the Rummage Sale has just grown too big and there may not be anyone to take it over for next year, she says, “I’m very optimistic that we will have a new Chair. I can’t imagine this church without a Rummage Sale. Think about all the groups that benefit from the funds raised.”
Seriously, they don’t make church ladies like this anymore. I am not worthy.
While you’re on a shopping roll, after you score your great deals at the Village Church Rummage Sale, also check out the Wellesley Historical Society’s Tollhouse Shop, which as always, is open on Saturdays from 10am – noon (as well as Wednesdays, 11am – 3pm).
Another place for great shopping is at Schofield School’s Shopper’s Corner, open 9am – 11am, located at 27 Cedar St.