As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

This observation has become a proven fact each year at a large sale held in the family life center gymnasium at First United Methodist Church to raise money for Ellis County Habitat for Humanity.

The sixth annual Habitat for Humanity garage sale will take place from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, and, as is the case every year, shoppers will find “treasures” among items donated, all to benefit the local Habitat for Humanity organization and those it serves.

“(Donated items) fill the gym and overflow all around the church,” said Nancy Fenton, who has worked on the garage sale committee all six years and has been the acting chairman of the committee for five of those years.

Fenton reports that the annual event has raised up to as much as $8,000 during the eight hours

that the sale takes place.

Fenton, who typically begins work in preparation of the event six months prior to the day, notes that volunteers spend anywhere from one to 30 hours working during the sale, as well as in preparation before the sale and clean up afterwards.

“They come from all parts of the county,” Fenton said of the volunteers, explaining that the willing volunteers contribute mostly because of their dedication to helping others.

“But part of it is the sheer fun of going through someone else’s throw-aways,” explained Fenton.

Fenton listed treasures discovered in previous sales to include original Beatles albums, sterling silver baskets, antique spurs, Star Trek memorabilia from the 1960s, ceramic 4 foot Indians, a set of 24 antique, wooden nutcrackers, signed and framed prints from Texas artists, antique furniture, gently used garden equipment and construction materials donated by local contractors.

Fenton reports that this year items will include a golf cart, refrigerators, dining room sets, beds, chest of drawers, sofas, office furniture and filing cabinets, books, toys, appliances, computers, designer apparel, new and antique dishes and much more.

Dr. Jeff Kosoris has volunteered to help at the garage sale this year as the person in charge of all donated reading material.

“Jeff will set up the book section. He will organize the books ahead of time,” said Fenton, explaining that Kosoris will make an inventory of which books are first edition or antique and will categorize the books that have been donated.

“It will be a great thing for the book lovers that attend the sale,” said Fenton of the service that Kosoris will perform.

Money raised from the sale will go to fund construction of homes.

“Since all of the labor, with the exception of electrical and plumbing, is free via wonderful volunteers, the money goes to construction costs including roofing, flooring, paint, wall board, plumbing fixtures, nails and much more,” said Fenton.

Donated items that are not sold during the sale on Saturday will go to other local charities and to the Salvation Army of Dallas.

“(Ellis County Habitat for Humanity) feels strongly that all money raised needs to be used locally, as well as donations that are left should be used locally, as much as possible,” said Fenton. “Any children’s books left will go to the emergency room at Baylor Medical Center Waxahachie and all stuffed animals that can be sanitized will go to the sheriff’s department for distribution to children involved with their programs.”

Fenton also noted that the Salvation Army of Dallas will “take any leftovers back to thrift shops in Dallas” that sell items to raise funds for their local programs.

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