Kicking off Thursday, the Cartersville Service League's Rummage Sale will provide shoppers the opportunity to mix bargain hunting and philanthropy.
"The Cartersville Service League has been holding its annual Rummage Sale in Cartersville since the 1940s, not long after the league was founded," CSL President Danae Gambill said. "Over the decades, the locations and frequency of the sales has changed, from a spring and fall sale to what we have now — one large sale, being offered in September.
"It has been a great fundraiser for the league as well as a way to offer opportunities for individuals and families to shop for quality items at a discount and help support the various charitable organizations we assist. We rely on the generous donations of clothing and household items from former league members, local business owners and others in our community who support the mission of the Cartersville Service League. It definitely is a team effort."
On Thursday, the Rummage Sale will start with an early bird sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St. The initial offering will be followed by a half-price sale Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a bag sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Sales will be cash only, with no checks accepted.
"I think many people look forward to our sale each year," Assistant Rummage Chairwoman Lisa Hamilton said. "It is a huge event, and we try to maintain a level of quality of merchandise that ensures it is worth people’s time to come and shop. You never know what you’ll find, and I think everyone loves a bargain.
"While the Rummage Sale is one of CSL’s primary fundraisers supporting children’s charities, we also recognize we are serving all families in Bartow County. We provide good used items at an extremely affordable price. It is a win-win. It is nice to see mothers who are so used to working within a very tight household budget be able to buy their children a bag full of clothes and not have to choose between just one or two items. Moms also have the rare freedom to splurge on something for themselves, like a cute top, dress or scarf. They are so excited finding so many things they can afford to buy, it is heartwarming to watch."
Along with featuring clothing, the sale also offers a wide array of items, such as toys, furniture, housewares and a Boutique section stocked with higher-priced merchandise.
"The vast majority of donations are clothing and outerwear for men, women and children," Hamilton said. "Rummage is a great place for families on a budget to stock up on back-to-school clothes and get their kids outfitted for winter. We also provide an opportunity for people to be able to purchase pieces that are generally quite pricey in a store, such as suits, dress pants and blazers. For someone just entering the workforce or trying to advance their careers, being able to dress the part is a necessity many people simply can’t afford. I’m happy CSL’s sale can help bridge the gap.
"Rummage is also a great place to have fun looking for silly items at super low prices. I’m hoping we see a lot of Halloween costumes donated this year. I know I’ll be on the lookout for some zany retro [outfits] to wear this Halloween. We also get a lot of toys, sporting goods and baby items, which are great to buy at discounted prices."
Established in 1941, the CSL is comprised of 42 Bartow County women, who serve six-year terms and annually volunteer at least 60 hours. With the public’s support, the league distributed $43,535.62 March 27 among the following organizations — Advocates for Children, Bartow Christmas Coalition, Bartow Education Foundation, Bartow Family Resources, Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, Bartow History Museum, Bartow County Juvenile Court, Bartow County Library System, Bartow Literacy Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Cartersville Medical Center Project SEARCH, Etowah Scholarship Foundation, Hands of Christ’s Douglas Street and First Presbyterian sites, The Guardian Angels Program, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, New Beginnings Food Outreach, Mentor Bartow, REACH Georgia, Bartow County Shop With a Hero, Steps of Faith Dance Company, The Bookmobile and Tranquility House.
"As the league and our community have grown, there have been many opportunities for members to help make Cartersville and Bartow County a better place for children and families," Gambill said. "There are charitable groups we have consistently supported over the years ... but we also keep our eyes and ears open throughout the year to provide support as we hear of a direct need in our area pertaining to children.
"As I was recently reading through a CSL scrapbook from the 1940s, I was moved by the specific examples of how the league ladies then invested in many children locally who had real tangible needs — by providing a wardrobe of clothes to a young lady in a children’s shelter, helping buy school supplies for children and totally furnishing the Girl Scout Hut that was built locally by other civic clubs. That focus and desire to serve has been passed down from generation to generation of league members and our heart for service is still very strong today. The ladies in our league are committed to being servant leaders in our community."
For more information about the CSL, visit the organization’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CartersvilleServiceLeagueSince1941. Donations for the sale will be accepted at the Civic Center through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.