GAMBIER — Like the old adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or, when one thinks about it “One man spills while the other cleans up.” No matter how one puts it, recycling old, unwanted items is a great way to help others, as well as the environment.
Searching through boxes and piles of unwanted stuff, some people find a diamond in the rough. Many more people find a much-needed item.
It’s that time of year again, for the annual Harcourt Parish Rummage Sale, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Located at the Gambier Community Center on Meadow Lane, residents will have the opportunity to search for treasures on tables stacked full of clothing, on racks of coats, in piles of shoes, and in collections of dining, living and kitchenware. Computer parts and accessories, children’s toys, and much more can also be found.
And on Saturday, between 9 and 10:30 a.m., customers can buy bags full of anything for a minimal fee.
For over 30 years, the parish has been holding the rummage sale as a way to raise funds to help charities, local and abroad.
“The church has been doing this for a long time and it all goes to charity. Last year, most of it went to Interchurch [Social Services] and a part to Cutting University in Liberia, West Africa, but most of it stays in Knox County,” said Donna Lewis, chairwoman for the event.
Parish members also help collect textbooks to send to Africa.
“Cutting is the only residential liberal arts college [in that area], and was founded by the Episcopal church in 1889,” said Susan Givens, who has volunteered at the sale for 12 years. “The campus was destroyed during 14 years of civil war; all of the roof, the windows, the plumbing and the wiring were taken, and now they are rebuilding. Harcourt Parish sends contributions occasional and books to help [the college].”
It’s not just the Kenyon College community that is getting into the trend of recycling. Other college communities are taking to reusing unwanted and unused clothing, furniture and housewares not taken home by college students, said Lewis.
“Most of this stuff is from seniors who’re not going to take this stuff home with them,” she said. “Last spring we gathered these things up as students left the campus and stored them in a tractor trailer [that is] still sitting outside, and that truck was full.”
In addition to collected items, the parish receives donations from the community and, this year, name-brand clothing from the Weather Vane.
“We have a lot of dorm stuff — small desks, storage units, lamps, laundry baskets, bedding, pillows, computer printers, and a lot of clothing and shoes,” said Lewis. “And some of these things have hardly been used.”
The volunteers said they find their fair share of odd items such as costume attire, funky hats, collectible figurines and all sorts of unusual things. But the rummage sale also has a fair share of new and name-brand clothing that can be found in its small boutique.
“We never know what’s going to come in on a given year,” said volunteer Kachen Kimmell. “We have a whole rack full of evening-type dresses, and something that surprises me is some of these things are brand new. Sometimes when students leave stuff or people donate things, they still have the tags on them and it has never been worn.
“One thing I really like about the rummage sale is the whole recycling nature of it. This stuff shouldn’t be going to the land fill.,” said Kimmell.
The recycling doesn’t just end there. After the rummage sale, a church group from Utica comes in and takes left-over items to people in the southern Ohio.
“So everything gets used,” said Lewis.