Curiosity, and perhaps some divine intervention, landed Karen Myers at the helm of a decades-long community service event – the Severna Park United Methodist Church yard sale.
A longtime volunteer of the event, Myers decided to attend a meeting several years ago because she wanted to see who would take over the event after Gwyn Linthicum, who had chaired the sale for 20 years, stepped down. She couldn’t have predicted the outcome.
“I raised my hand. Truly. It was actually a God moment,” Myers said. “People had volunteered for sub commitments to the sale … and I just had to make a decision right then and there. I said, ‘I’ll do it.’”
SPUMC hosts the yard sale typically twice a year, spring and fall, with the next one scheduled for Saturday, October 1. The event was put on hold for two years due to the pandemic, followed by a clothing-only sale this spring. Myers, as well as everyone involved, are excited to see the return of their complete yard sale this fall.
The sale will take up nearly every room on the church grounds and the yard, comprising the following categories of items: jewelry, holiday, children’s toys, puzzles and games, household items, treasures, clothing, baby gear, books, shoes. Outside, shoppers will find outdoor items – bikes and garden tools – and furniture.
“Pretty much everything you would have in a house,” Myers said.
As chairwoman of the sale, Myers forms contacts to ensure the church has everything to make the event go smoothly. A local family donates a dumpster. Giant Food and Safeway lend grocery carts.
Past sales have raised about $25,000. Proceeds are used to fund projects and mission events through two groups: Volunteers in Mission (VIM) and United Women in Faith.
“Volunteers in Mission organizes the mission trips or events that our church does, so if a group is going to Costa Rica to work on a church building, that group organizes it, that small group within our church,” Myers said. “All Methodist churches have a Volunteers in Mission group.”
The other yard sale beneficiary, United Women in Faith, meets for Bible studies and other activities on a regular basis.
“They also have mission projects that they do that are important to them,” Myers said. “It might be providing food … something that they do every year before school is they appeal to the congregation to provide backpacks and school supplies and they go to a school in Anne Arundel County that they have a relationship with — that’s one of their mission projects.”
During the pandemic when Severna Park United Methodist Church was not doing trips for VIM, members assisted with renovations at Serving People Across Neighborhoods (SPAN).
The yard sale is important to Myers because of the help it provides for those organizations, but also, beyond the “bang for your buck” that the sale offers, it assists many local families in need.
“There are also quite a few people that have told me that this is where they have come to get Christmas gifts for their kids when they couldn’t shop at a retail store; they could not have afforded to shop at a retail store, somebody that’s setting up their first place and really needs things at an affordable price, that is what is the most rewarding for me,” Myers said.
All are welcome to visit Severna Park United Methodist Church for the yard sale on October 1 from 8:30am to 1:00pm.
More than 150 church volunteers make the yard sale possible, and Myers is grateful for the community and volunteer support that have made it so successful since she has been involved.
“I have not looked back. I love it,” Myers said.
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