It’s the chore dreaded by parents everywhere: mounds of outgrown children’s clothing bursting from closets and drawers, requiring hours of sorting and storing as the seasons change each year.
Add in that old high chair gathering dust in a basement corner, a pile of too-small soccer cleats cluttering the floor by the back door and last year’s Halloween costume crowding in with old winter coats in the closet – it’s easy to become overtaken by stuff.
Now, picture the clothes and gear that 10 families accumulate, then 100, then 400.
A great way to re-use and recycle? That’s the driving force behind the massive children’s consignment sale that Cossitt School in La Grange has held twice a year for more than three decades.
“It’s a win-win for our school and the community,” says clothing sale chair Casey Livingston. “Parents sell their kids’ gently-used clothing and gear, keeping 60 percent of proceeds. At the same time, they can purchase amazing clothing at a fraction of the price they would pay to buy new. In many cases, we’re seeing clothes with the tags still on! It really is a great way to pass these items along while holding onto some of their value.”
The sale is a significant fundraiser for the Cossitt PTC.
Cossitt keeps 40 percent of sales and puts that money directly into school enrichment and building improvement programs. For example, the Cossitt PTC recently paved a bike parking area and replaced basketball hoops and backboards at the historic school, which has occupied the corner of Cossitt and Madison in La Grange since 1922.
Held in the fall and spring, the sale requires dozens of parent volunteers to transform the school gym into a huge clothing bazaar, with racks upon racks of high-quality clothing in sizes infant to 20, tables of gently-used shoes, rooms full of baby equipment such as strollers, portable cribs and high chairs, and other popular items like Halloween costumes and sports equipment.
“We see buyers from all over the western suburbs, ranging from parents who are purchasing clothes for their own children to grandparents who are looking for gifts or gear to keep on hand at their own homes when grandchildren come to visit,” says Livingston. “Sellers have the option of donating unsold items to a number of local charities. For the past few years, our charity partners have distributed thousands of pieces of clothing to people who are truly in need.”
There are three ways to get involved in this year’s fall sale, which will be held 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 5 at 115 West Cossitt in La Grange.
The first way is to sell! Interested sellers can register at the La Grange Public Library from 1o a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. Wed. Sept. 25, or 5 p.m. until numbers run out Monday, Sept. 30. The fall sale is capped at 400 sellers, and spots typically go quickly.
The second way is to buy. The line forms just before 8 a.m. on the day of the sale. Children are permitted only between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. All items are marked to half-off during the last hour of the sale, and cash or check (with identification only) are accepted.
The third way to get involved is to volunteer. In exchange for four hours of time, volunteers can shop the popular “pre-sale” on Friday, Oct. 4 before the sale opens to the general public on Saturday. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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