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News & Stories: 2007-08

Student donation boosts church sale
May 14, 2008

Volunteers load truckBy noon on Friday, May 16, the first trucks from Oakdale Park Christian Reformed Church (CRC) arrived at the residence halls at Calvin College, and volunteers from the church collected the piles of clothes, furniture and other detritus of college life that students left behind as they moved out for the summer.

From Thursday through Saturday, June 12–14, that stockpile of items will form the basis of the annual Oakdale Park CRC rummage sale.

Proceeds from the rummage sale, now in its 14th year, will benefit the church’s neighborhood youth program. “We have a long-term relationship with Oakdale Park in supporting their neighborhood ministry by collecting items that our students normally throw away,” said Calvin dean of residence life John Witte. Additional collections will be made from Calvin’s Knollcrest East apartments beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 19.

"It’s nice for our students because they’re often needing to clear out, and as they’re packing they don’t have the space that they want,” Witte explained. "Students are very conscious these days about throwing things away versus recycling and reusing.”

That conscientiousness is a big benefit to Oakdale Park and its surrounding community, said sale coordinator Lyn VandenBosch. “We couldn’t do this sale without Calvin,” she said. “This partnership is awesome.”

It takes the Oakdale Park crew about two weeks to sort through and tag the items: Lots of jeans (“I think we had 300 pair last year!” VandenBosch claimed) sweaters and shoes as well as books, CDs, DVDs, toys and larger items such as couches, lamps, televisions and other small appliances. The sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 12 and 13 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 14.

Typically the rummage sale nets between four and five thousand dollars for Oakdale Park’s Wednesday night activities, children’s choir, summer day camp and other youth programs, which draw children from both the church and the surrounding neighborhood.

"The sale isn’t just about making money. It’s about building relationships,” VandenBosch said. “We have a lot of volunteers working the sale, and some of them are just there to meet people and tell them what Oakdale is all about.”

The Calvin-Oakdale Park partnership began in 1994 when Kristin VandenBosch, once and current daughter of Oakdale Park’s pastor, pioneered the donation in her Calvin dorm, Bolt-Heyns-Timmer.

"It’s a great tradition,” VandenBosch said. “People start asking us in February already, ‘When are you going to have your sale?’”

~By Myrna Anderson, Communications and Marketing

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