Volunteers at Resurrection Catholic Church have been sorting through countless items in preparation for the Joyous Junque sale. While setup takes just over a month, preparation for the annual event, which will be June 2 and 3, is a yearlong process.
Work began in April to convert the church’s basement into a giant showroom for thousands of items that will be offered at this year’s yard sale. Crews set up tables and converted dining halls and Sunday school rooms into areas to showcase items.
Jim Urban and his wife, Gail, are the longtime coordinators of the event. Urban said he is still surprised by the amount of items donated to the church each year for the sale.
In the last few weeks before the sale, Urban said many volunteers put in long hours to make sure everything is ready. Everything has to be priced and prepped by the time the sale begins at 7 a.m. that first day.
Eager customers often wait outside for more than an hour before the sale, Urban said.
“It gets harder and harder to get everything done in time,” Urban said. “It’s almost always down to the wire.”
Years ago, Urban said the church averaged around $30,000, which is donated to local nonprofits.
For the past few years, proceeds from the two-day sale has averaged more than $100,000. Urban said the amount is hard to fathom considering everything is gone by the end of the second day each year.
Items are priced to assure almost everything is sold, and what isn’t sold is donated to other local nonprofits, including Goodwill, Urban said.
But the work doesn’t stop. As soon as this year’s sale is over, Urban said volunteers once again begin receiving items donated to the church and crews are heading to homes to pick up items for next year.
For the past seven years, Max Gaberdiel has overseen volunteers who arrange to pick up items around the lake. He, too, is amazed at the amount of items, especially quality items, the church receives each year.
In many cases, Gaberdiel said he sees items come from homeowners who are downsizing or those purchasing new furniture and are looking to get rid of the old items, some only a few years old.
While the name of the sale is Joyous Junque, Gaberdiel said they make sure to refrain from picking up any real “junk.” Anything that volunteers think can’t be sold at the sale won’t be picked up.
Items are boxed and stored in one of several storage areas. Boats, vehicles and appliances are tested to ensure they’re working properly. Non-working items are marked as such, Urban said.
Once volunteers are able to tally the total amount of money from the sale, the church will host a check presentation. Proceeds are distributed to more than two dozen area nonprofits. Oftentimes, these donations can be critical for charities.
At a check presentation in 2016, Martha Snidow with Roanoke Area Ministries said the nonprofit had been low on funds, and the donation helped them to keep the doors open at its day shelter for the homeless.
Gail Urban said when customers want to haggle over the price of an item, she makes sure they know where the money from the sale is going. When they know it is going to a good cause, she said they are a little more willing to pay the price of the item.
This year’s Joyous Junque sale will be at Resurrection Catholic Church on June 2, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and June 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.