In New England, it’s called a tag sale because each item has a price tag on it. In other parts of the country it is known as a yard sale, garage sale or white elephant sale. No matter the name, the goals are the same, to get rid of unneeded items or to raise money.
At Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, it’s called the “Elfie Sale,” which is short for white elephant sale. Almost half of the money raised is given to non-Catholic groups.
“We don’t give money to groups because they are Catholic, we raise money for others because we are Catholic,” said 2018 Elphie Chair and Pinehurst Resident Nancy Heilman.
The Elphie sale takes over almost all of the classrooms of the Sacred Heart Education building, fills the parish auditorium, called Founders Hall, and spills out onto the parking lot. Furniture is the largest category. A parish member who was downsizing donated several rooms of furniture that was sold as whole room sets. Jewelry is second largest category.
This was the 19th year of the Elphie Sale, and this year’s sale raised almost $30,000. The final distribution list is almost finished.
In addition to meeting some of the parish needs and missions, the money raised in past years was distributed to ARC of Moore County, Boys/Girls Club, The Coalition, Family Promise, First Health Hospice, Friend-Friend, Life Care Pregnancy Center, Literacy Mission, Moore Free Clinic, North Moore Resource Center and Prancing Horse.
“While it is wonderful that we raise and distribute money to many worthy causes, it is just as gratifying to see the so many parishioners work together,” said Heilman.
This past year, 228 parishioners were involved in every aspect of the sale. There were the “linen ladies” and “polish control” who polished more that 30 pieces of silver. Also featured were toys, electronics, Christmas decorations, a bake sale and similar categories. The Knights of Columbus handled security and outside sales which was mostly golf equipment, power tools, exercise equipment, etc.
There are no administrative cost, and every worker at is a volunteer, so 100 percent of the money raised supports the parish and the recipient organizations.
“There are thousands of items in all the categories and almost all of them are sold” Heilman said. “The items that are unsold are donated to Habitat for Humanity and the Mission at St. Anthony’s,” Heilman added.
“I volunteer at five similar sales in Moore County, and Sacred Heart’s is always the best in terms of quality of items and camaraderie” said one volunteer.
The 2019 Elphie Sale will be November 8 and 9 at Scared Heart, located at 300 Dundee Road, Pinehurst.
File photo of Sacred Heart Catholic Church ~ Sandhills Sentinel.