Broadway Christian Church garage sale celebrates 25th anniversary

Friday, April 12, 2013 | 2:54 p.m. CDT; updated 8:40 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 13, 2013

COLUMBIA — Broadway Christian Church will hold its 25th annual garage sale at the church gymnasium on Saturday at 2601 W. Broadway.

Every year since 1989, the church has hosted the spring garage sale to benefit the housing project initiative by the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity. More than $250,000 has been raised during this period.

Last year, the sale brought in $17,000, and this year the organizers expect proceeds to top $20,000.

Bill View, the executive director of Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity, said the garage sale project has influenced its activities.

"Broadway Christian Church raises between $15,000 and $20,000 annually, an amount which typically builds about half a house, that is to say, buy building materials," View said. "It's an amazing project for the community."

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with Christian organizations and volunteers to help low-income families build and own modest homes. The organization builds nine to 10 homes a year.

"We build houses for low- and medium-income families who are below the 30 to 50 percent of the median income in Columbia," View said.

The church typically engages a team of volunteers from among its members, the larger Columbia community as well as people from other cities in Missouri to help run the sale.

"There's a family — mother and two sons — from Kansas City that has come to work every year for the past five years," said Dixie Fisher, who started the garage sale with her husband. "A few people can really make such a huge difference."

The volunteers help to clean furniture and put things on display before the sale day. Some of them will direct traffic at parking lots and work as cashiers on Saturday. 

"This event has become a real connection with the community," Fisher said. "It's intergenerational, and it's exciting to see kids as young as 7 years old work alongside people as old as 86 years."

The church accepts donations from its members, their families, friends, neighbors and other community members. The wide selection of donated merchandise range from clothing and jewelery to household items and furniture.

"We've got 14,000 square feet full of items," Fisher said. "The Fellowship hall will be dedicated solely to selling such items as clothing, shoes and baby items. All other items will be in the gymnasium."

Leftover items will go to nonprofit agencies such as Love Inc., Second Chance and churches such as First Christian Church and Community United Methodist. 

The garage sale will open its doors to the public from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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