Charity rummage sales on tap this month
by By Marie Nesmith
Apr 07, 2011 | 3319 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Volunteers Deborah and Jeff Jones sort through donated items for the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter rummage sale set for April 15 and 16.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Volunteers Deborah and Jeff Jones sort through donated items for the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter rummage sale set for April 15 and 16. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Goodwill and good deals will go hand-in-hand this month as the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Good Shepherd Foundation and Cartersville Service League organize individual rummage sales.

Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter

Titled 'Have a Heart for the Homeless,' the Good Neighbor's sale will be April 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 16 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Atco Clubhouse. The nonprofit, which plans to hold rummage sales twice a year, generated $2,300 in its initial offering last fall.

"We're having the rummage sale at the Atco Clubhouse to participate in all the events they're doing with the city and the county next weekend," said Jessica Mitcham, the Good Neighbor's executive director, referring to the local Great American Cleanup's activities in the Atco neighborhood April 16. "We'll be out there providing used items for the community to purchase so that they can get things that they need and also raise profits to help toward the general budget of the shelter for the year.

"Our annual budget is $225,000, and we raise about $180,000 a year through special events," she said, adding the rummage sale is expected to draw $3,000. "So the rummage sale is one of the events we do during the year to raise the money for the shelter to operate, to be able to pay for the facility to be open and then for staff to be here at all times, assisting the guests with the things they need."

Since forming in 1996, the Cartersville nonprofit has served more than 4,100 people. On average, the 4,600-square-foot facility that was built in 2001 assists nearly 345 individuals per year, of whom at least 52 percent are children. While they are housed, Good Neighbor's guests are required to find a job within four weeks, and the shelter's staff helps them establish savings, focus on problem-solving skills and chart out future housing options.

"January 2011 was the first month in the entire history of the shelter that we were full to capacity every single day," Mitcham said Tuesday. "That went down a little bit in February. We weren't quite as full, but ... today we're full to capacity again.

"A lot of the guests that stay here at the shelter, this is the first time this has ever happened to them. They've lost a job. They've had some stress in their family, so they're facing this for the very first time and just trying to find some place to go to get back up on their feet as quickly as possible."

To prepare for its upcoming rummage sale, Good Neighbor is accepting items from the public, ranging from toys and books to clothing -- in season and on hangers -- and furniture. In addition to dropping off donations at the shelter at 110 Porter St., individuals also can call the nonprofit at 770-607-0610 to arrange for the items to be picked up. On April 14, donors also are encouraged to deliver items from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the Atco Clubhouse, 3 Goodyear Ave. in Cartersville.

Good Shepherd Foundation

While the Good Neighbor's staff is excited to be offering the community a new service, the Good Shepherd Foundation will be wrapping up its rummage sales with a blow out event -- April 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- at its parking lot, 66 GiIreath Road in Cartersville. After purchasing a small bag for $2, or a larger one for $5, shoppers will be allowed to take items that will fit inside for free.

Formed in 1979, Good Shepherd is providing employment to 52 adults who are physically impaired or developmentally delayed. Along with picking up cardboard in the community, the employees are working on four contracts, one of which involves packing cleaning pads for Americo Manufacturing Inc. in Acworth. Since they are paid only for time worked, the sometimes sporadic nature of their assembly-type labor is a concern and prompted the organization to organize rummage sales for additional revenue last year.

"It gives them a sense of they can work a normal job just like anybody else, and they can produce and make money," said Good Shepherd Operations Director Sheryl Pealor, adding their employees range in age from 19 to 74 with challenges spanning blindness to mental illness. "It gives them somewhere to go and something to do.

"They [also] make friends, and they communicate with their friends that they work with at home at night. They stay in constant contact with each other, because they are all so close [since] they've been here for so long. What we're striving to do is to give them self-worth, give them their jobs that they enjoy doing."

Instead of holding future rummage sales, which did not bring in a sizable amount of work, Good Shepherd will launch a Going Green program April 18 that will create jobs for its employees. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring recyclable items, such as paper products, plastics and aluminum cans, to the facility each week from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Businesses with large quantities of recyclables can schedule a pick up time by calling the Good Shepherd at 770-386-0131.

Cartersville Service League

The Cartersville Service League's Spring Rummage Sale will kick off April 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an early bird sale at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St. The initial offering will be followed by a half-price sale on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a bag sale April 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"[The sale's] appeal comes from the fact that it probably is one of the oldest rummage sales in Cartersville," said Cartersville Service League President Dana McElwee, adding the sale started at least 20 to 30 years ago. "I have heard stories during my tenure in the league -- especially [from] people whose mothers served in the Service League many, many years ago -- that initially the rummage sale started downtown on the railroad tracks. And the women would gather up their belongings, take them down and try to sell them for the afternoon and then in the evenings, they would pack it all up, take it home and do it again the next day.

"So that's how long it's been in existence, and then of course it's morphed into being held at different locations. Even during my tenure, we have moved from the fairgrounds to the Civic Center to give people air conditioning for the spring sale or heat for the fall sale. And I think with that longevity, people just realize there is any and every thing available that they would want. And yes, we always have people lined up on the days of the sales to get in, which is always exciting for us."

The events' proceeds will be combined with money generated through the CSL's Fall Rummage Sale, Poinsettia Sale and Ways and Means Dance and dispersed to local charities next year. Established in 1941, the Cartersville Service League is comprised of Bartow County women, who serve six-year terms and volunteer more than 40 hours per year in the community.

Along with tutoring children weekly at the Boys & Girls Club's Cartersville Unit, some of their volunteer efforts include conducting hearing and vision screenings for kindergarten students in the Bartow County School System; distributing a weekly meal to Flowering Branch Children's shelter residents; and volunteering with the Special Olympics Committee in Bartow County. They also equip area children with school supplies, gifts and necessities throughout the year.

For more information about the Service League fundraiser, visit