Last week I spent the bulk of my days volunteering at the Rotary Auction Rummage Sale. For those that have never experienced the sale, it is indeed difficult to envision. When people hear rummage sale they think of a church parking lot and some tables. This, however, is a “rummage sale” on steroids. Bainbridge Rotary takes over the ENTIRE middle school campus and has 38 departments inside and outside ranging from Linens to Books to Marine to Automotive.
The preparation for the day-long sale starts eight days prior to the actual sales day. Tables and tents are set up. Departments are constructed. Then, the community drops-off their donations for six days and massive teams of volunteers unload, sort, deliver, clean, test, price and display the items for the rummage sale day when the community, far and wide, shows up in force to shop.
And, throughout the course of the week, filled with good work, talk, heavy lifting, new ideas, funny stories and warm weather, community spirit is built and cultivated. This is my third year volunteering and every year my entire family spends part of the week prepping for the sale and working the actual rummage sale. Throughout Rotary Week I enjoy seeing and working with people I rarely get a chance to see the rest of the year. It is an intense week of good work and great spirits. Last year Rotary raised almost half a million dollars for the projects it supports locally and internationally. We are all hopeful we topped last year’s sales total, but even if we did not, I know our island’s sense of community has indeed increased once again.