Hurricane Irene did damage locally to the homes of some of the Voorheesville Methodist church family, and flooding devastated homes and businesses in nearby counties. The coordinators of the Loving and Sharing Ministries met with Pastor Charlie Yang to discuss what should be done. There was no question that the church needed to reach out, but what was the best way to do it? We knew that there was no question that money would be needed. In less than 3 weeks, we put out the word that we needed donations of items to sell at the garage sale, baked goods and other food, monetary donations, and donations of volunteer time to make the sale happen. The response was overwhelming.
Herb Reilly, Reilly and Son Funeral home, donated the use of their tent and helped set it up, and hearty souls from the church put up another large tent to protect sale items since the forecast was, once again, rain. People from the church, the village, and surrounding area donated items of value that were sold to the many shoppers who came to the sale. One man donated a like new chair that had been his aunt’s, wanting to contribute to the cause. Another man appeared with tables and other furniture. Two hardly used Pack ‘n Plays were donated, along with other baby furniture that was in excellent condition. A church member who was downsizing donated large plants for the sale, while another member who is a talented artist donated some of her hand painted items. Shoppers told us to “forget the change” and gave extra for their purchases, knowing that the money would go to people who really needed help. People walked up to the coordinators with checks of all sizes to add to the fund.
Even the rain contributed to the day’s success! It slowed to a drizzle when the sale first began, but by 11:00 am the rain was getting heavy. In the kitchen, the workers were heating the homemade soup and making sandwiches. When lunch was announced at 11:30, the crowd ran gratefully to the social hall. The kitchen sold out of food. When they were finished eating, the shoppers continued to shop through the books, Christmas decorations, toys and games, and furniture and baby care items. It was a day of joy and blessing. When the totals were finally tallied, we had $4023 to distribute for those who needed help.