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End Of An Era: Cash for Clothes Prepares for 90th and Final Sale

CAMDEN- After forty-five years of staging semi-annual, quality used clothing sales for the benefit of Coastal Opportunities, the organizers of Cash for Clothes are closing up shop. The group’s ninetieth – and final – Cash for Clothes Sale will be held Saturday, October 26 through Monday, October 28, at the American Legion Hall, 91Pearl Street in Camden.

Beginning in the spring of 1975, a committee of local volunteers has come together twice each year to stage Spring and Fall Cash for Clothes Sales. The event has been the flagship fundraising event for the benefit of Coastal Opportunities, the Camden-based agency that assists adults with intellectual disabilities to become participating members of their social and economic community. Through eighty-nine sales and more than 35,000 volunteer hours, Cash for Clothes has contributed nearly $500,000 to Coastal Opportunities over the past 45 years.

Nancy Wolfertz, who has served as General Chair for the Cash for Clothes Steering Committee for the past 20 years, explained the reasons for wrapping up the long-time event. “Back when the Cash for Clothes sale debuted, there were no consignment clothing shops operating in our area. Cash for Clothes spring and fall sales provided shoppers with opportunities to purchase quality, used clothing at affordable prices for everyone in their family. With the advent of second-hand shops, women’s and children’s consignment boutiques, and even men’s consignment shops, bargain hunters now have year-round outlets to address their needs.”

Wolfertz explained that an equally compelling fact of the matter is that Cash for Clothes depends on a large crew of up to 120 volunteers to keep all aspects of the sale running smoothly and effectively. “While we have retained many loyal community volunteers over the years, our steering committee recognizes that our volunteer corps are dwindling with each passing sale. With the growing number of local charitable organizations seeking volunteers, there simply are not enough new volunteers to go around these days,” said Wolfertz.

While steering committee members are sad to see the Cash for Clothes sale come to an end, they are gratified by the positive impacts the event has made for Coastal Opportunities. “When I see a Coastal Opportunities van driving around Knox County, I am proud to know that our efforts have ultimately helped purchase this vehicle, thereby expanding the horizons for Coastal clients,” said 27-year steering committee member, Amy Rollins, of Lincolnville. “Cash for Clothes is going out on a high note, and we’re already brainstorming new fundraising possibilities for Coastal Opportunities,” added Rollins.

The final Cash for Clothes sale will be sponsored by Allen Insurance and Financial and Mid-Coast Energy Systems. Sale organizers are extremely grateful to these businesses, and others before them, for providing critical financial support to underwrite the sale’s operating costs, which allows the committee to donate more of the sale’s proceeds directly to Coastal Opportunities.

Joe Curll, Executive Director of Coastal Opportunities, recently stated, “On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to extend sincere thanks to all of the people who have contributed or worked on the sale over the many years it has been in existence. In the beginning, these donations were a large part of the budget, and we needed it to draw down the federal match. As Coastal Opportunities has grown, Cash for Clothes donations have helped us with operational needs in the many programs we operate.”

So, what will be different about this final sale? Really there are just a few small changes. For one, if you would like to donate clothing to the sale, you must bring your gently used items to the Corcoran Center, at 35 Limerock Street in Camden, no later than Monday, October 7. Since this is the last sale, no donations will be accepted after October 7. We’re going out with a bang, with this final sale featuring clothing for all seasons, not just fall and winter apparel. The final sale will also feature a pop-up “AB Boutique”, offering fine-quality apparel donated by The Admiral’s Buttons.

As always, if you wish to sell clothing at the final Cash for Clothes sale, you must pre-register. Clothing will be sold on a 50/50 basis, with half of the profit going to the seller, and half to Coastal Opportunities. You will register your name and address, be given identification tags, lists for clothing, and instruction sheets. Cash for Clothes has planned two weekends for pre-registration, which will be held at Coastal Opportunities’ Corcoran Center, 35 Limerock Street, Camden. Pre-registration dates are Friday, October 11, from 4 to 6 pm; Saturday, October 12, from 9 to 11am; Friday, October 18, from 4 to 6 pm; and Saturday, October 19, from 9 to 11 am. Cash for Clothes has always been proud to offer good clothing at bargain prices, so we cannot accept garments that are torn, stained, or heavily worn. If you can’t come yourself to pre-registration, a friend can do it for you. Do not bring your clothing to sell to pre-registration.

If you wish to donate the entire proceeds from the sale of your clothing to Coastal Opportunities, you do not need to pre-register. Simply drop off your clothing at Coastal Opportunities’ Corcoran Center, 35 Limerock Street in Camden, by October 7.  Volunteers will tag and price the clothing for you.

Cash for Clothes welcomes new volunteers to work on various aspects of this final sale. If you’ve always wanted to volunteer for us, now is your last chance! Times are available both prior to and during the Sale. This is a wonderful way to contribute to the community, help clients of Coastal Opportunities, and meet new people.  Volunteers who work four or more hours qualify to attend the Cash for Clothes Pre-Sale. If you wish to volunteer or have questions about joining the volunteer staff, please call Nancy Wolfertz at 207-594-5429, or sign up online at https://signup.com/go/mVQTZtY.

More details about the Cash for Clothes sale week schedule can be found at www.coastalopportunities.org/events, on the Cash for Clothes to benefit Coastal Opportunities Facebook page, and on posters on display throughout the community. For all other inquiries, contact Nancy Wolfertz at 207-594-5429, or call Coastal Opportunities at 207-236-6008.

About Coastal Opportunities

Coastal Opportunities, headquartered in Camden, Maine, has been assisting adults with developmental disabilities to become participating members in the social and economic community of Mid-Coast Maine for nearly fifty years, providing a high level of service to a segment of society often overlooked.

Every year, we help 90 adults with developmental disabilities receive day and/or residential assistance. We employ over 85 people, and have 11 sites to support individuals in Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Owls Head, Hope, and Thomaston. Our primary service area is Knox County.

Coastal Opportunities provides a variety of services to adults in the day and employment programs. Long-term support is provided to individuals who sort bottles at the Coastal Redemption Center. On-site day programming is provided at the Thomas F. Corcoran Center and the Olive Coates Center, both located on Limerock Street in Camden.

In addition to providing training and employment opportunities, individuals in Coastal Opportunities volunteer their time at worthy local charities like Meals On Wheels, and Goodwill. We believe strongly in working with organizations to help both the local community, as well as our participants.

For more information, visit www.coastalopportunities.org or call us at 207-236-6008.

 

We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equality of opportunity still must be sought.