by Graham Reid
As Kenyon students returned to the Hill for their fall term, they had the opportunity to furnish their rooms and buy all sorts of odds and ends at the annual Harcourt Parish Rummage Sale. The sale, run by the namesake Episcopal church, took in a record-breaking $18,000 in revenue this year.
The sale has grown far beyond its humble beginnings over 50 years ago. Last year’s record-breaking profit was over $17,000. This year the sale’s workforce included 150 Kenyon volunteers and had gross proceeds of over $18,000. “It’s gone from tiny to gigantic,” organizer Kachen Kimmel said.
Harcourt Parish donates 80 percent of the sale’s proceeds to Knox County charities, including Habitat for Humanity, The Knox County Humane Society and Interchurch. The remaining 20 percent stays with Harcourt Parish. The sale’s largest source of revenue is furniture.
Kimmel estimated that roughly 60 percent of the sale items were donated by Kenyon students at the end of last year, with the remaining 40 percent coming from community members, especially people moving and seniors downsizing.
Two large dumpsters that housed broken donations accounted for one of the sale’s largest expenses, though Kimmel estimated only five percent of donations were in too-poor condition to be sold or donated.
In addition to selling items, Harcourt Parish also passes some donations along to local causes. The sale provides bedding to the Mount Vernon-based domestic shelter New Directions and furniture to the HopeNow Furniture Bank, a group aiming to provide furniture for Knox County families in need.
After the sale, remaining items went to the Northside Church of Christ in Newark, about 30 miles south of Gambier, where the items are distributed to community members in need.