HER Fam­ily

Fe­male vol­un­teers drive sale’s suc­cess

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents - Story by Lorien E. Dahl, file pho­tog­ra­phy

Help­ing hands: Fe­male vol­un­teers drive sale‘s suc­cess

Wives of the Knights of Colum­bus Coun­cil 6419 have been clean­ing, sort­ing, or­ga­niz­ing and pric­ing the count­less items that will be part of the 2017 Fall Rum­mage Sale.

Carol An­drews and her Knight hus­band, Jack, moved to Hot Springs in 2009 from Dal­las, Texas. She be­gan vol­un­teer­ing for the event on a small scale the fol­low­ing year, but then de­cided to of­fer her skills gained through pre­vi­ous work in ad­ver­tis­ing to in­crease sales.

In her seven years, she's es­tab­lished a data­base for send­ing out re­minder post­cards to in­ter­ested par­ties, and the list has grown from 45 names to some 450, get­ting the word out far and wide.

An­drews said peo­ple come from lo­ca­tions out­side Hot Springs, like Lit­tle Rock, Ben­ton, Nor­man and Texarkana, and trav­el­ers have said they ap­pre­ci­ate both the qual­ity and bar­gains.

The semi­an­nual events, oc­cur­ring in the spring and fall, were ini­tially be­gun as a way to raise money for the Knights hall, but as time went on, the rev­enue in­creased and a Char­ity Com­mit­tee was set up.

Pro­ceeds from the sales now ben­e­fit area agen­cies on a monthly ba­sis — Jack­son House, Change Point Preg­nancy Care and Par­ent­ing Re­source Cen­ter, Sa­mar­i­tan Min­istries, Project Hope Food Bank, The Car­ing Place, The FACES Foun­da­tion, Co­op­er­a­tive Chris­tian Min­istries and Clinic, St. Mary's Food Pantry, and lo­cal dis­abled vet­er­ans each re­ceive hundreds of dol­lars each month, amount­ing to nearly $50,000 of mon­e­tary help each year.

In ad­di­tion to the monthly ben­e­fi­cia­ries, other or­ga­ni­za­tions re­ceive do­na­tions from the Knights, like toys and back­packs that go to the Gar­land County Department of Hu­man Ser­vices and CASA.

Be­cause there wasn't enough room for stor­ing things inside Giom­po­letti Hall dur­ing the early years, some mem­bers kept

do­nated goods in their homes, As do­na­tions in­creased, sec­ond and third build­ings were put on the prop­erty.

Reiter Hall holds tools, light fix­tures, large fur­ni­ture pieces and gar­den­ing items, while more tra­di­tional rum­mage sale items are housed in Spirit Hall. These in­clude both new and gen­tly used jew­elry, books, wall art, lamps, dishes, small ap­pli­ances, bed­ding, cloth and sewing ma­te­rial, hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions, toys for all ages, baby items and elec­tron­ics. Cloth­ing, how­ever, is not part of the sale.

An­drews said all items are in work­ing con­di­tion, and ev­ery­thing is cleaned and tested be­fore go­ing on a shelf. Lo­cal busi­ness­man John Stein­haus do­nates his time in ser­vice of professionally clean­ing all the fur­ni­ture and rugs, mak­ing them move-in ready for shop­pers.

The bulk of do­na­tions come from homes where the res­i­dent has died or moved into a care fa­cil­ity. Fam­ily mem­bers of­ten con­tact the Knights, and mem­bers will lis­ten to what items are in­volved, then come to the res­i­dence and pack up ev­ery­thing onto a truck or trailer. All do­na­tions are tax-de­ductible, and forms are given out. To ar­range for a pickup, Mas­ter Knight Jim Lock­wood can be con­tacted at 501-282-7027.

It in­deed take a vil­lage to en­sure the best event pos­si­ble. Some of the vol­un­teer women check ap­pli­ances and wash dishes or cook­ware. An­drews of­ten laun­ders bed­ding in her home. She is drawn in to help by the car­ing and ca­ma­raderie of the wives, and said, “I like to think that be­hind every rum­mage sale there's a woman pray­ing, plead­ing and pol­ish­ing.”

There are days she spends up to nine hours do­ing vol­un­teer ser­vice, and she's hardly alone, as the Knights and wives work nearly year­round to present the sales as nicely as they can. She said the care that goes into or­ga­niz­ing and pre­sent­ing is ob­vi­ous, with fur­ni­ture ar­ranged as if it were in a show­room. “It's a re­ally good group of peo­ple. … We all work to­gether.”

But the ef­forts are def­i­nitely worth­while, as shop­pers are of­ten lined up out the door on the sale's first day. An­drews said, “You al­ways get a kick out of hear­ing some­one say, `Oh, that's just what I need,' be­cause then you know that you're help­ing them out, and they're help­ing us out,” which, in turn, helps the com­mu­nity. “It makes you feel good.”

She said hundreds of shop­pers will visit over the two week­ends, and many come to enough sales that the vol­un­teers know them on a first­name ba­sis.

This fall's event dates are Oct. 1314, and 20-21. Doors will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3045 Spring St.

An­drews was for­tu­nate to grow up in a fam­ily that was able to pro­vide any­thing she needed, so when she sees the clients served by the or­ga­ni­za­tions the Knights ben­e­fits, she is hum­bled by her own bless­ings and said she thinks of the ex­pres­sion, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

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1: sale vol­un­teers 2: Naomi san­ders browses the of­fer­ings at the

2016 spring rum­mage sale. 3: Liz sass, the “christ­mas Won­der Woman” 4: carole cook ar­ranges dec­o­ra­tive items at the

2016 spring rum­mage sale. 4

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