Rummage sale is canceled, but The Youth Closet will operate ‘until further notice’
If you go...Youth Closet and Toy Chest
- What: Free shopping for youth clothing and toys organized by United Way Eagle River Valley
- When: The closet operation will run through Friday, Aug. 14 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Where: 439 Edwards Access Road, Edwards, behind Subway
- Details: Shoppers must sign up for 30-minute appointments at the closet. Visit unitedwayeagle.org.
It has been a fall tradition for more than five decades, but this year COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of The Rummage Sale of the Eagle River Valley.
However, local families who rely on this affordable option can still find school clothes and kids items during these difficult days as the Youth Closet and Toy Chest has expanded its operations until, at least, the upcoming winter season.
Earlier this summer, the United Way of Eagle River Valley and the rummage sale team announced that due to COVID-19 concerns related to hosting such an expansive event, the 2020 sale was canceled.
The event provides funds to more than 35 local charitable programs and relied on more than 150 volunteers for set up and sale day assistance. Sale organizers said the cancellation decision considered the health and safety of volunteers as well as the feasibility and logistics of collecting, sorting, setting up, selling, and cleaning up such a large quantity of inventory under social distancing protocols needed for this community sale.
“It was difficult to cancel the event because it truly helps the families in our community to get school clothes, provides much-needed funding for our local nonprofits, and provides friends with a chance to gather and socialize while contributing to a good cause,” said Rebecca Kanaly, executive director of United Way of Eagle River Valley. “However, the most important part of our community are our people and we are in full support of taking precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.”
United Way of Eagle River Valley plans to continue The Rummage Sale again in 2021.
The Youth Closet
Because of the sale cancelation, this summer the local United Way launched a special program for local families called The Youth Closet and Toy Chest. Originally slated to only operate through August, the program will remain in operation until further notice
“This shop helps our community to help each other by accepting then giving out donations of children’s clothes and baby supplies, school supplies, winter items, shoes, toys and books,” Kanaly said. “These items are available to families in the Eagle River Valley at no cost.”
Prospective shoppers need to register for a specific shopping time. When they arrive at their appointed time, they are allowed to choose five tops and five bottom articles of clothing and two pairs of shoes per child. The sale will also limit shoppers to one set of winter wear — coat, boots, snow pants, gloves and hat — per child and one set of towels, one blanket, one pillow and one set of sheets per child. As for toys, books and other supplies, there isn’t a specific limit.
With the extension of The Youth Closet operation, organizers hope to collect and distribute winter items including coats, boots and other outerwear.
Prospective donors can assist with the closet operations by leaving items outside the sale site. Closet volunteers will bring in donations and quarantine items for one week before placing them on the shopping floor. The closet is currently accepting the following items, and these items only, for donation:
- Infant-youth clothes, pajamas and winter clothes
- Child/youth shoes
- Toys and youth sporting goods
- All baby supplies
- Child/youth towels
- Child/youth blankets
- Child/youth pillows
More information can be found about The Youth Closet and Toy Chest at UnitedWayEagle.org.