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Consignment Season Is Here Again!

Just as much as I look forward to the changing colors of leaves in Fall, I also look forward to the many weekends of consignment sales the season brings.

In the ultimate form of recycling, I like to consign what no longer fits my kids and also shop for bargains on name brand clothes for their new, larger sizes. Additionally I get to get rid of any toys they’ve outgrown (or whose noises I can no longer stand) and yes, sometimes indulge in “new” toys and gadgets for them as well. The kids often get in the act, as I announce that it’s “consignment sale time” and we go through things and decide what can “go to the babies” or what gets to remain for another season.

What I am most proud of is that my kids are learning the value of saving money where you can and spending wisely — that not everything has to be brand new. A used board game with all of its pieces is just as playable as a brand new one — and the money saved can be put in a savings account or used for something else fun!

Three of my favorite sales are coming up:

CFC MOPS Christian Fellowship Church Mothers of Preschoolers Sale
http://www.cfellowshipc.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=10076
When: Saturday October 2
8-11 regular sale
11:30 -1 half price sale
3 – 3:45 Dollar Dash (most items $1, large items 75%  off)
A limited number of early shopping passes are available for sale — see site for details.

Where: Sanders Corner Elementary
43100 Ashburn Farm Parkway
Ashburn, VA 20147

Charitable statement: The sale is a semi-annual fundraiser for CFC MOPS. Proceeds fund resources for MOPS moms, meeting costs, the MOPPETS children’s program, leadership training, and costs of running the sale.  Funds also support CFC MOPS designated charities and allow MOPS moms to participate in a fall and spring service project. We hope to benefit the community by selling inexpensive, good quality children’s items; to benefit consignors by providing a convenient way to consign their items; and to reach mother’s of preschoolers with information about MOPS. For more information on MOPS International, please visit their website at www.MOPS.org.   

Forms of payment accepted: Cash or check with ID, bring more than one check as there are separate check out rooms for different types of items

Consignors receive: 50% if they consign only, 70% if they also volunteer.

I like this sale because: This is a large sale and you can find a variety of items. Volume is the name of the game here — there are racks and racks of clothes, piles of books, toys you never knew existed… I have shopped this sale a few times and consigned for the first time last fall and did quite well as a consignor.

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Catholic Consignments Sale
When: Saturday, October 9
8 – 11:30 am Public Sale
noon – 1:30 pm Half-Price Sale
3:30 – 4:30 pm** Dollar Dash

Where: Legacy Elementary School (new location for the fall ’10 sale only)
22995 Minerva Drive
Ashburn, VA 20148

Charitable statement: Over the past 2 sales, Catholic Consignments has raised over $30,000 to help St. Theresa’s Divine Mercy Outreach. All of these funds help our neighbors, identified by social services, right in our community. Examples of ways the funds are used include beds & furniture for 23 families, utilities for 25 families, and rent for 27 families.

I like this sale because:  Every sale has a different “vibe” to it.  The shoppers at this one tend to be seriously bargain-minded, meaning competition is intense at the racks, but it makes for a fun day.  There tends to be a fantastic book selection at these sales and often a great selection of dressy clothes for both boys and girls of all sizes, as well as corresponding dressy shoes.  Toys can be hit or miss, but there is always gobs and gobs of baby gear!

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My Child’s Closet
http://www.mychildscloset.com/
When: Newly expanded to TWO days:
Friday October 22
9 am – 8pm
Saturday October 23
7 am – noon regular sale
1 pm – 4 pm half price sale

Where: Community Church 
19790 Ashburn Road
Ashburn, VA 20147

Forms of payment accepted: Cash or check with ID, bring more than one check as there are separate check out rooms for different types of items

Consignors receive: 60% if they consign only, 65% if they also volunteer.
I like this sale because: It is well organized, and tends to have a lot of high quality items. I find a lot of name brand, beautiful clothing at this sale. The owners of this sale are a joy to work with! I enjoy this sale as a seller, a volunteer and a shopper.   Note that the sale has new owners this year.

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Disclosure: I am a volunteer, consignor and seller at all of these sales.

Children of the Recession: We Have to Act NOW to Save a Generation

I wept.

After not allowing myself, a former television reporter, to watch the news for weeks because I found the doom and gloom about the economy too stressful, I watched several CBS news clips from the Children of the Recession series online, and when I watched as an emergency room pediatric nurse practitioner showed the x-rays clearly depicting the multiple injuries of a young child — TWO broken arms, TWO fractured legs, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.  And neither could the reporter on the story. 

There is a marked rise in child abuse in the country and it is being attributed to the stresses related to the economy.  But that is only one of the many ways that our most precious resource in this country is being harmed.   As you can see in other segments in the network-wide series by CBS, children are being harmed psychologically, they are not receiving the medical care they need, they are ending up homeless or separated from families.  This is not the life any of us dreamed of for our children, or for anyone’s children.

What are we going to do about it?

Yes, I said we.

Your children and my children may be in their warm beds tonight with healthy food in their bellies, but they are going to school with children who are not.  What are we going to do about it?

With one out of ten children not being able to get the medical care they need or delaying routine visits, a child near ours is sick and getting sicker.  What are we going to do about it?

With jobless rates around the country anywhere from 7% and higher, a child near ours has one, maybe two parents unemployed and is living in a house full of stress, worry, and maybe worse — violence.  What are we going to do about it?

Families are spread further apart, governmental support systems such as social workers, homeless shelters and state- or county-funded counseling programs have all suffered cutbacks — there are more problems and fewer safety nets.

Non-profit organizations, often dependent upon grants, individual donations and corporate sponsorships are all scrambling to survive as well.  They, too, are trying to help more, but with fewer resources.

As a society we have the ability to more connected than ever with every form of technology imaginable.  But are we using it to help this youngest generation through this tough time?  Are we using it to match needs with solutions?  All it takes is the right person at the right moment and you can change a child’s life.  Do it often enough, and you just may change an entire generation.

At a conference this weekend, I heard that my generation, Generation X, is characterized by a “belief in survival” and jaded by growing up in the shadow of nuclear weapons, divorce, AIDS, and crack cocaine.  What a legacy.  Let’s try to create something better for this generation.  Let’s not let their young lives be forever shaped by the economy, but rather teach them the lessons of compassion and community and doing the right thing.

Through my affiliation with the Silicon Valley Moms/DC Metro Moms, I was able to participate on a conference call with Katie Couric, senior producer Katie Boyle, producer Tony Maciulis, and Sonya McNair, VP of Communications.  During this call, she let us know CBS News (The Early Show, Evening, and Face the Nation) is shining a light on the issues, through a network-wide look at Children of the Recession this week as well as through weekly segments over the next several weeks.  When one blogger asked if she found the task depressing, she said, “I feel it is really important work and I feel there is not enough of this kind of journalism going on…  and I feel it is  higher calling for all of us and yes it is very upsetting and heart-breaking and depressing but the only way that we are going to get these families help is to expose the problem and so I think we feel like there is a higher purpose here and that is why I think we feel really motivated and excited.  I haven’t felt this proud of my work in a long time because we can have an impact.  And that is why we need your help — we can’t do it alone in this fragmented media culture, like my colon cancer work, it can’t be a one-shot deal, we have to keep pounding away at it and be committed to it and keep reminding people.  We’re doing something that ultimately will be impactful and hopefully, really helpful to people.”

I’m no longer a television reporter, and I’m certainly not as powerful as a national network, but what I, a mom and a blogger, can do is this, I will tell you of programs and initiatives as I know of them and either highlight them myself, or invite them to guest blog here.  You are also always free to post comments or email me about groups/initiatives/ideas you think should be put out there.   Will you join me, in looking for ways to help — small or large?   Will you help get out the word on the GOOD things that can happen in these turbulent times?

I hope so.  Because the next time I weep, I hope it is with joy.

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  • I know of two programs that are packing non-perishable “weekend lunches” for children who are on the free hot lunch program at school in Fairfax County — because these kids may not get lunches on weekends otherwise.  These two groups are working “under the radar” right now.  If you are interested in helping them, email me or post here telling me you are interested and I will contact you.
  • Louie’s Kids, which helps fight childhood obesity, is just $10,000 short of its goal to bring it’s successful Fit Club Program to a school in Alexandria.  Read about their compelling program and success and see if you know someone who can help them in the final stretch.  Duke University reports that with parents having to buy lower-cost foods, we may see a huge increase in childhood obesity.
  • The Junior League of Northern Virginia (of which I am a member and a leader, in the interest of full disclosure) focuses on helping children in Northern Virginia succeed.  We have many programs, including Back-to-School Health Fairs (immunizations, physicals and backpacks jam-packed with school supplies), an innovative My Life photography program and Kids Can character-based program in local homeless shelters, and the Kids in the Kitchen nutrition program to help fight childhood obesity.  We’re always looking for new members, community partners, sponsors, and donors.
  • Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter (of which I am on the Community Advisory Board), a Fairfax County shelter run by Shelter House, Inc. is always looking for volunteers, community partners, sponsors and donors.  This shelter has done amazing work in “rapid rehousing” for homeless families, but the need continues to grow in these tough economic times.
  • The faith-based community is “filling in the gaps” — look to your own faith home (church, temple, mosque, etc.) to see what they are doing and how you can get involved.

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Silicon Valley Moms Post and Round Up: http://www.svmoms.com/2009/05/silicon-valley-moms-group-katie-couric-children-recession.html