B y Jaime Thomas
Black Friday and the start of the holiday season throw consumers into a buying frenzy, but some local people can’t afford to take part.
Those who Sally Peterson, wife of Pastor Jim Peterson, describes as the working poor.
To help fill the gap of Christmas shopping, the Petersons and the Granville Baptist Church have once again organized a rummage give-away on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The church is generally filled from one end to the other,” Peterson said of the completely free event. Community members can choose from books, clothing, winter wear, household items and more—with the occasional odd find thrown in.
“One year we actually had a complete swimming pool with a pump and ladder—someone was very happy to take it,” she said. The church has been holding the give-away for at least six years, and Peterson said locals donate more than enough goods to help each other out.
“It really is quite an event, and it is very much appreciated by the community, I think,” she said. Last year between 300 and 400 people came to browse and select items from the give-away. At this time of year, Peterson said they particularly enjoy getting free Christmas decorations.
And those who stop by need not be embarrassed or ashamed.
“We don’t ask anybody any questions. Everybody is welcome—our goal is to serve the needy and have everything gone by the end of the day,” Peterson said.
However, it’s not just those less fortunate that are invited to “shop” at no cost.
“It may be that somebody has a particular old record they really want to find, and they make $100,000 a year. They’re still welcome,” she said.
There is one group that Peterson does not want to see at the give-away.
“No dealers,” she said with a laugh. “We watch at the door for them.”
The church is still looking for more donations of clothes, toys, household and kitchen items, decorations, books and more.
“Things people might be able to use as Christmas gifts; toys are well-appreciated,” Peterson specified. Anyone willing to help sort or fold clothes or carry bags and boxes is encouraged to do so.
Items can be dropped off at the back of the church from 3 to 6 p.m. through Friday. Donators are asked to refrain from leaving furniture, summer clothes, torn or dirty clothes, dirty or broken toys, or junk.
To volunteer or for more information call Pastor Peterson at 518-642-2245.