This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The rummage sale as an economic indicator

There are lots of different indicators of economic activity and consumer sentiment, but one that is local and impressionistic comes from two rummage sales held each year. The sales witnessed the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina a few years ago--the amount of stuff donated shrank enormously as many people shipped their contributions south. Then again last spring the amount of clothing was unusually low. The sharp drop in donations probably reflected people's anxiety about the future course of the economy. The amount of stuff donated to the St. Augustine School rummage sale held last weekend was back to the normal range of donations. Below you can see what the church basement looked like before the doors opened on Friday morning.
At noon on Saturday a truck from Jasper Junction arrived to pick up what was left over. Some of it will be added to the Jasper Junction Thrift Store, and some will be baled and sold to those who buy clothing that way.
Last spring the remnants of the sale filled only a third of this truck. Donations were down a lot, but sales were not--worry about the economy is good for rummage sales. This year the truck was filled. The cleanup went smoothly and quickly. Some of the baseball players from Saint Joseph's College volunteered to help with cleanup and their help was greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

g said...

The ultimate recycling, a win-win situation for everyone.