By Shawn Gilley
Contributed by Parenthesis
Nearly every family with kids faces the problem of what to do with all those outgrown outfits, not to mention strollers and other gear. They should be worth something – but pricing everything for a rummage sale takes so much time the operation often isn't worth it.
Parenthesis Family Center has a solution. For the first time ever, the Oak Park nonprofit is offering to price all the clothing that local families consign for its fall sale. This means a huge time savings for parents who want to participate in the sale that has been helping local families turn outgrown clothes into cash for 15 years.
Parenthesis executive director Kathy Kern said she expects the change to bring many more families into the event, resulting in lots more high-quality items for shoppers to choose from.
"In years past, those interested in selling their gently-used infant, children's and maternity clothing and equipment had to obtain pricing kits from Parenthesis and pin a price tag on each item," Kern said. "This year we are offering an additional option designed to make it easier and more profitable for our consignors. This year, consignors can simply drop off their items during our convenient drop off hours. Parenthesis will sort, price and tag your items for you."
Those sellers who want to price their own items are welcome to continue doing so, but the new option is expected to yield more profits for both the sellers and the organization.
"Because our volunteers are very familiar with how much these items typically sell for, we think that this option will not only save participants time, but may even result in larger consignor checks," Kern said.
No matter which option sellers choose, they receive 50 percent of the proceeds from all their items that sell. The other half goes to support Parenthesis programming, such as support groups for single parents, and drop-in nursery school classes. Families are also welcome to simply donate clothes and other items so that 100 percent of the proceeds can support Parenthesis' mission.
The new, easier consignment option is one of the changes brought about by Parenthesis' partnership with TRENDS, Oak Park's new high-end women's consignment boutique. The store's owner, Kellie Scott, is serving as a business adviser to help the sale's organizers bring the fund raising event to a new level at a time when nonprofits are struggling to increase revenue.
"At TRENDS we have had many of our consignors and customers ask about selling infant, children's and maternity wear," Scott said. "We are happy to provide guidance and support to Parenthesis as they provide the community with this valuable service."
Fall is a great time to wipe the slate clean and start with roomy, organized closets and drawers. Participating in the consignment sale is also a great way to keep used clothing out of landfills and provide the community with a green back-to-school shopping option.
"In this economy we have seen a resurgence of eco-minded community-oriented thinking. Parenthesis' mission and its consignment sale dovetail nicely with this renewed eco-consciousness," Scott said.
PARENTHESIS FAMILY CENTER FALL CONSIGNMENT
WHAT: Gently used fall and winter children's clothing, sizes newborn to 16, plus maternity wear, as well as equipment items such as strollers, swings, bouncy seats, and baby carriers. Due to safety regulations, we are unable to accept cribs and car seats.
HOW: Sort through clothing to make sure it is clean, free of stains or tears, and in-season for fall and winter. Make sure gear is in working order. Drop off at Parenthesis or call to arrange pick-up. If you would like to price your own items, pick up a consignment kit at Parenthesis or request one by email.
WHEN: Instruction and pricing kits are available for pickup now, or can be emailed and printed at home. Clothing can be dropped off during the following sessions:
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 am.-noon or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday Sept. 22, 9 a.m.-noon or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Instructions can be picked up and items dropped off at:
Parenthesis Family Center
Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church
405 S. Euclid Ave.
CONTACT: For pricing kits, questions or to schedule a pick-up, call or email Sue Schreck
ABOUT PARENTHESIS FAMILY CENTER
Parenthesis Family Center provides a wide range of parenting education and coaching, counseling, respite, and case management services focused on building strong families. For 31 years, Parenthesis has been upholding its mission to strengthen family bonds and promote the development of parents