MORRIS – First Christian Church has a great idea of how to take a break from the summer heat – stay indoors and clean out your closets. Have your kids do some summer chores, too, while you’re at it. They can clean out their closets and toy boxes and underneath their beds.
Items you aren’t using anymore or that your kids have outgrown can go to a helping cause. The church’s annual Price-less Day is July 24, and donations are needed. The things you no longer need in your home might become treasures to someone else.
Just load them up in your car and drive to the west end of First Christian Church, 455 W. Southmor Road in Morris on the two drop-off days: from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 23.
Volunteers will be present to take donations. Tax donation receipts also are available.
This is the 15th year the church has held the free event. No money changes hands. It’s all done for the community, and thousands have benefited from it over the years.
Diane King, who is co-organizer with Tanya Keech, said this time of the year is perfect for cleaning out and simplifying your home.
“You’re always surprised that the things you don’t think are valuable are really valuable to someone else. Even when you don’t think you have much, when you go through a closet, all of a sudden, you’ve got three boxes full of stuff. It’s surprising how much stuff we actually accumulate,” King said.
Some of those who come to “shop” for items on that Tuesday look for decorations, small kitchen appliances, blankets, floor lamps or books. Others go just to see what they can find. Still others have very specific needs, such as school clothes, shoes, jackets and coats for their children. Or gifts for family. Or household items for young families and singles going out on their own for the first time.
“The kids’ clothing is really, really valuable,” King said. “Especially for the teen girls. Those really go fast.”
King said she’s seen mothers cry when they find nice school clothes for their children, saying that they didn’t know how they were going to afford them that year. The event is a blessing for those who donate, as well as for those who receive, she said.
“The spirit of giving transcends all age and all economic levels,” King said.
Donations have also included such items as football cleats, soccer shoes, knee pads, baseballs and bats and other sports items.
Everything is organized on easy-to-reach tabletops by size and gender. The dozens of volunteers spend hours sorting through the many donations.
King said the kids go for the toy section.
“The stuffed animals will be 4 feet high on the table, and it will be empty in four minutes,” she said. “It’s like Christmas for the kids.”
Many adults will head for the toy section, as well, for real Christmas gifts that they save for the holiday to give to their children, grandchildren and extended family members.
The church accepts donations of items that are safe, clean, usable, in good working order, and free from odors or stains. They ask that, if possible, donors sort like items and mark bags with such information, such as what is inside or sizes for clothing.
There are several rooms of items. Maps will be available that tell shoppers where items are located once they get inside. The line to get in can be long. Some people arrive hours ahead of time to be the first in the door. King said even those who show up after the doors open will find plenty to browse.
The church suggests that shoppers bring shopping bags for their items. Because of the number of people who attend, carts are not allowed in the building, and strollers are discouraged.
For information about First Christian Church’s Price-less Day, call 815-942-3454 or visit www.fccmorris.org.
If you go
What: Price-less Days, the free garage sale, at First Christian Church, 455 W. Southmor Road, Morris
Details: A community exchange, where people donate items they can no longer use, then others can browse and take those items they can use. Everything is free.
Needed: Donations of gently used items.
Items not allowed for donations: Computers, text books or reference books, sharp objects or items that are dirty, damaged, stained, have odors, or are too worn or unsafe, and televisions except for flat screens. Items that are too large to be carried in the building by one person are not accepted, but donors may bring a picture or write-up about the larger items and tack to a designated “Contact me Directly” bulletin board.
Donation drop-off dates: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 22 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, July 23. Volunteers will accept donations at the west door of the church.
Shopping dates for the public: 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24. Line-up is at the south entrance of the church.
For more information: Call 815-942-3454 or visit www.fccmorris.org.