One of my favorite annual events happens this week. Holy Family Catholic Adoption Agency is holding it's summer fund raiser garage sale. The charity itself is a worthy one as their mission is to work in practical ways toward an end to abortion. All prospective adoptive parents commit to a weekly hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and/or a weekly "prayerful presence outside area abortion centers." In their few years of existence eight babies have been saved from abortions and placed in loving Catholic homes.
Now on to this fund raising event ... This garage sale, held in two large buildings at the county fairground, takes donations from people all over the area. Typically, tables are piled high with a wide variety of clothing, household and garage items, sporting equipment, furniture - typical garage sale stuff. The beauty here is that instead of throwing items away, all of these people have saved them donate to this event. I know in our house, we always have a box (or several) in our garage, ready to receive the things for which we no longer have a use. A group of volunteers of all ages come on drop-off day to sort items. On the sale days there are long lines waiting for the doors to open. And this is the third part I love about this event - nothing is priced; they just ask patrons to consider what they can afford and what the items are worth, and then to pay a donation based on that.
The entire system exemplifies social justice principles at their best. We are provided with a practical way of being good stewards, lives are being saved, prayer is encouraged, people who can afford to give donate generously, and those who can't afford much are still provided with the clothing and other goods they need.
Besides all that, we usually come home with some treasures. While it's not specifically a Catholic event, there are lots of Catholic donors and it's not unusual to find spiritual classics, kitchsy statues, copies of bad liturgical music, Bibles, etc. This year I found several books, a beaded purse, four lovely (maybe silk) scarves, some vintage jewelry, a chapel veil, and this very classy piece which is now in a place of honor on my teacup shelf.