Communitywide Yard Sale

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Bellevue, Wash.

In today’s “green” culture it was becoming increasingly important to find ways to reduce, reuse and repurpose thing in our lives. St. Luke’s decided what better way to encourage our members and neighbors to participate in that type of effort than by offering to organize and facilitate a communitywide yard sale coupled with a food drive to benefit a local charity.

The organization and logistics of holding a yard sale are very daunting for some. For others, like the apartments and condos, both to the north and to the south of St. Luke’s, they are not allowed to conduct yard sales on their property. In order to meet these needs, we offered our parking lot, facility and volunteers for this community-wide event. We had tables available, a large storage container was on site to house items before and after the sale and a charity was contacted to collect the unsold items.

St. Luke’s “enlarged their footprint in the community” that day. The hospitality that St. Luke’s extended to the community; the relationships that began between the neighborhood and the church made for a very worthwhile event. Some of our own members met other members for the first time while working the sale.

Outreach happens in many different ways; we will never realize who we might have touched that day just by opening our doors for a yard sale. As we all know, God works in mysterious ways, and a yard sale might just be one of those.

St. Luke’s won a City of Bellevue Neighbor Link Award for this event.

James P. Long
James P. Long

James P. Long is the editor of Outreach magazine and is the author of a number of books, including Why Is God Silent When We Need Him the Most?