Spotlight on Rummage:
Donating and Buying Furniture at Rummage

Last year’s Rummage Co-Chair Karin Balsbaugh with the new chair of the Rummage Furniture Department, Jenny Zervas

2016 Kenilworth Union Church Annual Rummage Sale to Support Charity

If you’re downsizing, moving or redecorating, or if you’re tired of paying storage fees to keep furniture your kids don’t want or just sick of that old chair, Kenilworth Union Church’s furniture department wants to hear from you.

There’s no one thing you could donate to Rummage that would produce more money for the Church’s outreach agencies than donating nice furniture that you no longer need, notes Hope Poor, one of three Rummage coordinators.

Likewise, whether you’re looking to add fine furniture to your own home or to outfit your new dorm room or first apartment, there’s no better place to shop for that great combination of quality and bargains. Kenilworth Union Church’s Rummage Sale always has an incredible variety from which to choose, from antique chairs, curios and secretaries to rugs, dining room sets, and basic bookshelves.

But Rummage furniture operates differently than other Rummage departments because there’s just not enough room in the Church to store all the furniture that gets donated. So here is a primer on the special ins and outs you need to know about Rummage furniture.


Rummage welcomes all kinds of furniture—“everything for the house and garden”—so long as it’s in good condition or “gently used, ” said Jenny Zervas, co-chair of the Furniture department along with Laura Carlson. This year, Rummage is particularly interested in bookshelves and metal baker’s racks.

Quality and condition are key: as another local church tells donors, “If it didn’t sell at your garage sale, don’t bring it here.”

That said, “Furniture doesn’t have to be super expensive or nice to donate—just as long as it’s good shape. Even a simple end table or bookcase are really welcome,” Hope said.

Donors can bring items to the Warwick Manse (417 Warwick Lane) any time during normal donation hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, between June 9 and July 5 (except for July 4). For help unloading large items, come before noon on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, when volunteers will be available to help.

For those who have lots of furniture to donate or need more help getting furniture donations to the church, Rummage may be able to pick up your donation. Just contact Jenny Zervas. Please give her as much information as you can about what you have to donate, including digital pictures, dimensions and specifics, along with your contact information.


Of course, people can shop for Rummage furniture on the two sale days, paying a 50 percent premium during the presale on July 14 or regular price on the main sale day, July 16.

But shoppers should be aware that to make room for the flow of furniture that gets donated every year and to avoid damage to fine pieces from being stored and stacked, Rummage will be selling some furniture early, using various social media outlets, such as:

•    The Facebook-based Virtual Garage Sale and Virtual Yard Sale groups of Wilmette, Winnetka and other North Shore Communities;
•    The NextDoor social networks like NextDoor Winnetka and NextDoor West Kenilworth.

(For those unfamiliar with these various online shopping sites, see The Facebook Yard Sale Phenomenon.

Jenny believes that using these social media outlets more aggressively than ever to sell Rummage furniture will enable the Church to sell far more furniture more effectively than before—thus increasing the amount of donations the Church can make to outreach agencies.

She speaks from experience. Owner of a “domestic eclectic” store in Wilmette for 14 years, she said “Virtual yard sales have changed the dynamics for me. For the last six or seven years, the Internet has been the main portion of our sales. “

“I’m so excited to take a step back from my business for six weeks and use my skills” to help the Church’s rummage sale realize its potential.

So keep an eye on one or more of these sales sites if you’re in the market for furniture.