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Hilltop Church supports community through consignment sale

Aug 29, 2017 04:27PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

Shoppers find clothing, games, books, movies, sporting good items and more bargains at the Hilltop United Methodist Church’s consignment sale. This fall, the sale will be Sept. 22–23. (Hilltop United Methodist Church)

By Julie Slama

For the past 20 years, Hilltop United Methodist Church transforms one weekend in the fall and spring from a place of worship to a place to purchase consigned children’s and maternity items.

This fall, the sale will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, at Hilltop United Methodist Church, 985 East 10600 South. It closes at 7 p.m. Friday, but will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.

“This sale serves families in our community by providing good products at reasonable prices,” said Connee Schoon, who oversees the sale with Sandy McCormick. “Families can find a lot of necessities here as well as extras and at the same time, it benefits a good cause.”

The sale is a “well-oiled machine,” Schoon said, with items organized into cribs and furniture, sporting goods, strollers, books, DVDs and CDs, games and puzzles, older child and younger child toys, decorative items, infant needs, maternity wear and younger and older children’s clothing, which is bar-coded and organized on hangers by size and gender and inspected for quality. 

“This isn’t somewhere to come find designer and high-end items, but a place to find discount and second-hand items in good condition at a lower price,” she said, adding that bikes are a “hot item that typically sell quickly.”

The sale attracts 140 sellers, with more turned away because of space constraints, who bring in about 14,000 items. 

Consigners need to follow rules from how to hang clothing to which items they can sell for each sale. This fall’s sales allow seasonal clothing and items, such as Halloween costumes, winter coats and boots, and winter sporting items. Some items aren’t available, such as car seats, stuffed animals and VHS tapes.

About 200 volunteers help run the sale, most contributing a three-hour shift, although Schoon said a handful help both days as well as set up for the sale. Boy Scout troop 400 also helps with set-up.

In return, volunteers may come to the pre-sale to select items to purchase as a way to thank them for donating their time, Schoon said.

“The majority of our volunteers are from the community. They want to come support the sale. Many just want to volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts, knowing that donations are going to good causes in the (Salt Lake) Valley,” she said.

In addition to items that consigners donate after the sale, Hilltop United Methodist Women, who run the sale, contribute “the majority of our proceeds to organizations outside the church for good causes,” Schoon said.

She said groups like Crossroads Urban Center, Family Promise, South Valley Women’s and Children’s Center, Salt Lake Rescue Mission, Pregnancy Resource Center in Salt Lake City and others in the community have benefitted from Hilltop’s children’s and maternity consignment sale.

The first sale was in fall 1994, after church member Susan Dunlap moved from Atlanta where consignment sales were popular. The Hilltop United Methodist Women made $700 that sale with 43 sellers. This spring, they made $7,000, Schoon said.

Through the years, the sales have become fine-tuned with computerized tagging, which also indicate items that will be donated to organizations after the sale. Some items also may be discounted on the second day. 

Schoon has volunteered at the sale since 1997.

“I believe in it,” she said. “It’s become a community event where everyone benefits.” 

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