Mt. Bethel Children’s Consignment Sale Celebrates 40 Years of Service and Donates More Than $500,000 in Proceeds Since 2008
Later this week, Mt. Bethel Church in Marietta, Ga. will commence its 40th annual children’s consignment sale. This mission/volunteer effort started in 1979 and has been running twice a year, basically uninterrupted, ever since. It started small, but the proceeds generated for charities locally and globally exceed $500,000 from just the past 10 years of the sale.
What started 40 years ago in a tiny church kitchen as a mission of mothers helping each other locally, the Mt. Bethel Children’s Consignment Sale (MBCCS) celebrates its 40th year of service this Friday and Saturday, August 16-17, at Mt. Bethel UMC at 4385 Lower Roswell Rd. in East Cobb.
The sale is open to the public this Friday, 9am until 7pm, and Saturday, 9am until noon, and features more than 25,000 items of children’s clothing, toys, books, shoes, furniture and accessories sold at a considerable discount compared to retail stores. All net proceeds benefit local, regional and global non-profits and ministries with a focus on serving families and children. In addition, MBCCS features a special Community Offering from noon until 1:30pm on Saturday for select families and organizations in need.
“The sheer volume of the sale and its wide-reaching impact are hard to capture unless you’ve witnessed it,” said longtime volunteer Millie Atkinson. “This mission brings hundreds of consignors together with hundreds of volunteers, hundreds of shoppers, and ultimately benefits even greater numbers through our sale’s monetary and material donations to locals in Marietta as well as children in Romania, India, Kenya, Honduras and military bases around the world.”
It takes more than 150 volunteers to run the sale, from setting up clothing racks on Wednesday evening, to accepting and displaying more than 25,000 individual items, to manning the sales floor and the checkout stations, and ultimately helping distribute the donated items at the close of the sale. Volunteers are rewarded with an opportunity to shop early on Thursday evening. First-time mothers are also invited to register and shop the presale on Thursday.
“Twice a year, people of all ages come together to volunteer for the sale, from young moms and dads, to grandparents, to some of the women who worked the earliest sales,” said Amelia Mackowski, volunteer coordinator for the MBCCS. “The sale also unites many groups within the church, including pastors and their spouses welcoming the community, military veterans assembling clothing racks, youth helping in the nursery and sorting clothes, and Scouts B.S.A. volunteers who help our consignors and shoppers to and from their cars with large items.”
The MBCCS has seen tremendous growth over its 40-year history. It outgrew its earliest spaces and now transforms the church Fellowship Hall for less than 72 hours in the spring and fall, ensuring that worship services are not disrupted. While it is a children’s consignment sale, church-member volunteers see it as a mission.
“Every sale is an opportunity to share God’s love,” says Kimberly Turner, co-chair of the MBCCS and Mt. Bethel member. “We are completely volunteer-run and non-profit. All proceeds go to organizations supporting women and children in need, with many supplying basic necessities. That makes it different from selling items via social media. Our consignors receive 70 percent of what they sell, helping these families benefit from their prior purchases; 30 percent goes to charities located around the world to further God’s cause. For every $100 our shoppers spend, $30 goes to those most hungry for Christ."
The MBCCS also offers a Shopper’s Nursery on Friday morning from 8:30am until noon for a small fee. For more information about the MBCCS, volunteer opportunities, shopping times and first-time mom preview sales, please visit www.mtbethelccs.com.