Where? It’s at the BYFY Community Rummage Sale!
On the surface it looks like nothing more than a church rummage sale, another youth fundraiser. But lurking beneath the clothes, housewares, holiday items, toys, books, and who knows what else, lies the real treasure of the BYFY – love.
- Love is what’s given when a car pulls up to make a donation and is thanked by folks of all different generations who are working together to organize the sale.
- Love is what’s heard in the conversations as volunteers share their stories over folding clothes and organizing dishes.
- Love is what’s received when a new mother, whose child is in ICU receives helpful advice and prayer from other moms as she considers purchasing a changing table and the tears when she finds it’s already paid for.
- Love is what’s encountered when a customer shares that although they don’t “do church” this one seems pretty fun.
- Love is what spills over when the woman who runs the group home finds whatever amount of money she has in her hand is EXACTLY how much everything she needs will cost.
- Love is what greets you when Kyle Lease meets you at the door with a smile and tells you he’ll sell you everything for $1.00.
- Love is the hug needed and given when someone donates those last things from their parents’ house.
- Love is what’s glimpsed in the little boy who gets to pay with his own money for both the dinosaur he has always wanted AND the vase of fake flowers he’s certain his grandma will find beautiful.
The prices are, as one shopper said, “ridiculously dirt cheap”. So the fact that $3000.00 came in over the weekend is amazing – and our youth and their families are grateful. But the money isn’t where the real value lies in this fundraiser. The value is in the hospitality, the fellowship, and the chance to meet our neighbors. While almost all the donations come in from GS members, almost all of our shoppers are people from the Verona and Madison communities.
One shopper, who comes from Mazomanie each year and spends 2 hours each day seeking out treasures, says she just loves being swept up into the joyful community that surrounds this sale. “If ya’ll have this much fun here on Saturdays, I can’t imagine what it’s like on a Sunday!”
Our prayer is that what we are on Sunday – and everyday – is exactly what we are on BYFY day. A place for people to deal in the currency of love. A place to give out of our abundance and to be treated with dignity when we are in need. A place to share our stories of joy and heartbreak. A place to find ourselves encountering Jesus over and over again with each person who comes in the door.
Thanks, Good Shepherd for your generosity of “stuff and spirit”.
And thanks be to God for taking our little offerings and multiplying them into a real treasure.