Church consignment sale offers something for kids of all ages


Jenny Madill of Danville liked the children's consignment sale in Wilmore, which is modeled after a similar event in Lexington. She says the Little Lamb Sale in Lexington is a huge happening.

"Years ago, I thought, 'This needs to be done in Danville,'" Madill says.

A few years ago, she organized the Li'l Cherubs Sale at Centenary United Methodist Church. The event is held both in the spring and the fall. On March 25-27, the church will host its sixth sale, which offers more than just baby clothes, Madill says.

"We sell clothes all the way up to elementary school clothes," she explains. "We sell furniture, books, toys, maternity clothes - anything related to kids."

Madill says the event is a consignment sale, with donors pricing their own merchandise. A committee of six women works on the sale several months in advance.


"We are completely volunteer-run," Madill explains. "All of our work shifts are covered by the committee and additional volunteers - we have approximately 50 volunteers for the sale. It takes a lot of manpower.

"We sort (the donations), do the advertising, organize the workers and cut each seller a check. ... The sellers get back more than they would with a yard sale. They don't have to put in the hours and advertising."

Postcards are mailed out about six weeks before the event, to let previous sellers and buyers know should they want to participate again. Most of the sellers are not part of the congregation at Centenary United Methodist. New sellers often come from the sale itself.

The sellers receive 70 percent of the proceeds from their merchandise. Centenary receives the other 30 percent, which it shares with the Pregnancy Resource Center, the Li'l Cherubs Sale budget and the church's children's ministries, Madill notes.

The Pregnancy Resource Center is a "counseling support service for women who find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy," says Madill.

"It's pro-life. It's a counseling and support agency."

She says it was her idea to donate part of the proceeds to the center. When it moved to Danville, she says, she wanted to be a counselor but couldn't find the time. Donating the money is another way to help out the organization, she says.

Sixty-one sellers participated last fall

The first sale was held downtown at the church, with around 25 sellers, Madill says. The church's 30 percent was about $3,000. Last fall, 61 sellers participated and the church raised about $6,000 as its 30 percent.

The fall sale worked better than previous events because of the new location at the Christian Life Center.

"It's a great new facility that has lots of parking," Madill says. "We struggled with parking downtown on Friday morning."

Friday mornings during the sale are particularly busy times, although a quarter of the sales for the weekend are done in the first two hours held on Thursday.

"The early shopping on Thursday is the biggest incentive for volunteers," Madill says. "They shop the first hour, then the people selling shop."

Friday night and Saturday usually are steady, she adds.

"We easily have 300 or 400 people through the sale," Madill says, "starting Tuesday night, when we start checking in, until Saturday afternoon."

At the end of the sale, sellers have the option to donate what is left or pick up the leftovers. If the sellers donate, the items go to a number of places.

"We call the Pregnancy Resource Center the week before and ask what they need," Madill says. "In the past, they've needed maternity clothes and any newborn clothes. Southside Christian Church has the Agape House, which takes anything donated.

"There's a lady in town who runs "the birthday closet" and takes toys that we have left. And there is a foster parent in our church who organizes anything kid-related for foster families who might need something" in an emergency situation, Madill adds.

Toliver Elementary School has a "uniform closet" that benefits from leftovers that fit its criteria. "There's a need there," Madill notes.

Since her husband, Keith, works at Toliver, its easy to get the uniform-type clothes to the school. And this year, her husband is helping out a whole lot more, since Madill expects to give birth to their fourth child - they also have children who are 2, 4 and 6 - at the end of April.

"He's a lot of the manpower right now because I'm pregnant," Madill says. "He's very supportive."

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