Give me all your used clothes, house
hold goods, furniture, toys, office supplies and unwanted treasures--"I can find a home for anything." That's what I always tell my friends. It is fun to walk through the girl's school and my own home and recount where each treasured item came from and how it was creatively put to use. There are times however that while I know there are people who can use or need my unwanted items, I'm not sure how to connect the person with the item, and I find my house taking on the appearance of a one with a hoarding disorder.
We also have concerns about always providing the handout in the community we work in and instead look for ways to provide people a way to acquire ownership that begets stewardship. It was in talking over these ideas that Greici and I had the very impromptu idea to host a garage sale in the barrio---while a church or organization may host a bazaar or sale of used items from time to time. I have never personally seen or even heard of a personal home having such a sale so we planned the first for the following day.
We all purged our homes and donated items that didn't fit our needs. I was wondering how all these action figures with missing limbs and games with missing parts would sale, but I noticed my kids enjoying them as we sat up the sale. We sold things cheap to make sure everything found a home and all could make a purchase if they desired. The idea was that our children would run the sale, but we got ambushed at the door and it took the force of three women to work the crowd!
Our highest priced item was 50 pesos, about $1.25 and we sold out! Raising enough money to complete the payment to the men finishing our floors. I was struck by the joy in purchasing "one man's junk" and believe that making the purchase gave the item more value. I can imagine handing a boy a spider-man with a missing arm and hearing him whine, "hey--he's missing an arm!" But when the spider-man with the missing arm is purchased for 5 pesos---we heard instead, "Wow--it's an original! For 5 pesos...and it's only missing one arm!"
We had a blast and plan to recreate it about every six months or when the pile is just too big to face. So to all my Dominican friends --give me your unwanted treasures and junk---I can find a home for anything!