Posted: Jul 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM [Jul 1, 2012]
Ann Arbor's most senior recycler- the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor Thrift Sale- may add "haberdashery" to it''s name upon the receipt of nearly 10,000 hats from an anonymous donor closing on an estate. It is the largest, single donation of multiple goods in the 85-year history of the club's rummage sale which underwrites the organization's community projects and college scholarships.
"The call came in from a woman who said she had a lot of hats to donate," comments Melissa Tyler, club member, noting the understatement. "When I drove the club truck to her storage space to pick them up, I could quickly see there were several vehicle loads of boxes. More than I could have possibly imagined!"
The donor explained the head dressings were part of an over-stock of inventory assumed by her parents and left to her as their heir.
All the goods are new and in excellent condition. The diversity of product ranges from caps to berets to visors to bandanas to red lady hats to scarfs and gloves.
The haberdashery collection is temporarily stored in the club's auxiliary warehouse at 840 Plaza Drive near the Ann Arbor Airport. The warehouse is a new outlet complementing the Kiwanis Activity Center (KAC) club department store of reuse-able household items that is open every Saturday, 9-noon.
"The warehouse is part of our forward-thinking," notes Kiwanis president Fred Sanchez. "Our furniture department at the KAC was bursting with inventory. The warehouse concept fits nicely in our niche as a source for excellent-condition, used furniture." At present, the warehouse is open on the first and third Saturday of the month, 9 a.m.-12 noon. The days and hours may be extended in advance of the college students returning,
For further information, log on to www.a2kiwanis.org or contact Fred Sanchez, club president at 734.277.7077 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiwanis Thrift Sale Thumbnail History
IN 1927, an atypical “silent” president serves, Calvin Coolidge; a courageous pilot, Charles Lindbergh, makes headlines by flying solo across the the Atlantic Ocean and the Bronx Bomber, Babe Ruth, slugs a then season-record of 60 home runs for the talent-laden New York Yankees.
In Ann Arbor, MI, that year, Harry Nichols, a member of the fledgling Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, suggests the club stage a rummage sale as an annual fund-raiser. The members embrace the idea and the longest-continuous, most successful fund-raising event in Kiwanis International begins its current 80+-year run.
Chartered in 1921, six years after Kiwanis founding in Detroit (1915), the local club initiated an atypical financial support and hands-on-working relationship with the patients and their families at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. But the club’s breadth and effectiveness of its support needed a revenue component.
Today, the club’s weekly Thrift Sale, born of Nichols’ idea, grosses in excess of $350,000 annually ($6 million since 1927) and a high percentage of the funds are funneled back into the community.
A number of grant-requests by Ann Arbor-area non-profit organizations are honored each year, including, $30,000 awarded in college scholarships to qualified Ann Arbor Public School seniors ($1000 per scholarship) in conjunction with the Ray and Eleanor Cross Foundation (Ray was a former club member). The two organizations also share in funding a significant number of camper ship scholarships each year.
The Thrift Sale formula is recycling in its earliest and purest form. The club accepts used but useful household items, they sort out the bad apples (soiled, ripped, broken merchandise), price it competitively (much lower than its original value) and the weekly Sale shoppers are happy about the practicality and value of their purchase.
Another significant factor in the Thrift Sale overwhelming success is the club sorts, prices and sells its goods in the organization-owned Kiwanis Activities Center (KAC), a refurbished former Sears warehouse building, 200 S. First Street, West Washington at First Streets, two blocks west of Main Street.
An auxiliary warehouse recently opened to sell large pieces of furniture when there was no floor space available at the KAC.
The club has kept pace with the “Social Networking” craze and markets Thrift Sale items via EBay and Craigslist.