Why do we do a massive gym sale to support our Haiti Student Mission Trip every year?
Student Ministries all over the U.S. have different strategies to help their students engage in missions cross-culturally. Bottom-line is that it costs money.
How do you equip students to raise funds so that they can experience cross-cultural ministry? Helping student teams fund for their trips can be very challenging!
Many churches just leave it to their students to send out support letters to every distant relative across the country hoping that between donations and their parents help they will be able to make ends meet. Others do car washes, bake sales, door-to-door sales, and every fundraising idea you could think of to help their students raise the money it takes to do missions. Here are a few of the reasons we have consolidated our focus onto our Haiti Garage Sale and why that has been a huge win for us.
Connects Us with the Local Community
The huge gym sale that we put on is a service to the community. People love it! They enjoy the deals they find, the antiques they discover, and for some it provides an affordable place to find high quality assortment of necessities like housewares and clothing. We price everything to sell so the sale benefits us by moving tons of merchandise and benefits the consumer as they get a great deal!
We are honest about the quality of the merchandise. We let people plug in electronics to see if they work, label puzzles if they are missing a few pieces, and communicate as best we can about the condition of what we are selling. People know what they are buying and are pleased with what they get.
Additionally, we have hundreds of local residents who come to the sale who do not attend our church, or any church for that matter. Our desire is to be a church that is accessible to our local community and by inviting our neighbors into our building, our physical space, they became more familiar with us as a church. We also hand out a Thank-You and information about Berean and the ministries we offer to every person who purchases something. We train and enforce a high level of service from those working the sale, hoping that in the personal interactions we have with those in our community are a good testimony!
Encourages Involvement and a Good Work Ethic
The garage sale gives our students an opportunity to work for their mission trip. We require everyone going on the trip to work during certain times of the week (Pricing and setting out the merchandise, cleaning up after, etc…). Students (and their family members) work the sale and reduce the amount of support our team needs to raise depending on how much money the sale earns.
Also, the sale allows the whole church to participate more actively in fundraising for our consistent missions to the people of Haiti. Hundreds of people from our church over the years have either donated their own possessions to the sale or purchased items from the sale. This allows everyone to be a part of what God is doing through our church in Haiti, and to do so sacrificially and in a way that is more meaningful than just writing a check.
It is Successful
Lastly, but certainly not least, we continue to do the Haiti Garage Sale because it is successful in raising the funds we need for annual mission and construction projects in Haiti. Around 30% of what we bring in through the sale every year goes directly to construction supplies for the clinics and churches we have been building in Haiti for over ten years!
Several thousand dollars goes a long way when it comes to concrete, wood, paint, and tin roofing in Haiti. Considering most Haitians live on less than a dollar a day, a few thousands dollars is a small fortune! For these reasons and others we have found our Haiti Garage Sale to be an effective tool to connect with our community, create involvement and buy-in, and raise much needed funding for our annual student mission trips.
Do you want to contribute items to this year’s sale? Drop-off is this Sunday morning (April 29) and Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm this coming week (hold large items until Thursday, May 3 please!)