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Giving back by giving away

First Christian Church hosts free garage sale

It took so much work to put together Price-less Day at First Christian Church of Morris this year, its organizers took to camping behind the church.

But it’s work that participants will tell you is more than worth it.

“It’s like a family reunion,” said Tanya Keech, co-director of the event. “Working together, serving the community — what can be better?”

Price-less Day, now in its 10th year, is an annual free garage sale put on by the church to provide clothes, furniture and other items to the community.

When it began, it was a smaller event, held in the church’s gym.

Now, the event receives so many donations, it has spanned three rooms.

“It’s become a very big operation,” Keech said. “It’s become bigger than we ever imagined.”

Doors opened at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

As has become tradition, shoppers arrived well before that, eager to scan the aisles for items.

According to Pastor Scott Zorn, people began to arrive around 4:15 a.m. and, by opening, there were more than 265 waiting.

They browsed through aisles of clothes, toys, decorations and pretty much anything else you can want or need.

By 9:30 a.m., the items had been condensed into one large room, and there was still quite a number of neat items.

Shopper Tami Youskevetch was able to get clothes for her grandkids.”

“I’m impressed,” she said of the selection. “I think it really helps the community.”

Paula Misek and her daughter, Gina, were there for a new box spring. But it was an end table that caught Gina’s eye.

Not only does Misek shop at the event each year — she also donates.

“The church gives so much,” Misek said. “We try to give back and not take that much.”

Putting the event together takes a huge crew of volunteers.

Kim Carr and Lynn Vermillion were two of about 200 who took donations, sorted them and arranged them.

Vermillion was volunteering for her first Price-less Day, while Carr — who has been in the church for 45 years — had volunteered at many of the events over the past decade.

“It’s our way of giving back,” Carr said.

“It’s a community thing,” Zorn said. “It builds teamwork.”

A crew also assembled and took down all the tables in the church, and leftover items are picked up by Purple Heart Veterans.

“It’s a multilayered effort,” Keech said.

For Zorn, it helps fulfill the mission of the church — to live what he calls “God’s story” of helping those in need.

“We believe this is a practical, tangible way of doing this,” Zorn said.

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