It was evident as you entered the lower lobby area of Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle on Thursday morning that something big was going on.

There were books laid out on tables and suit jackets and coats hung on racks. Inside the large multi-purpose room, tables were set up, end on end, with mounds of clothing stacked neatly on each of them. Other tables nearby had toys, crafts and housewares on their tops, and racks with row upon row of shoes stood close by.

Volunteers from Second Presbyterian Church rushed around, unpacking treasures and organizing materials on tables.

They were getting ready for a “whale” of an event.

Or, in their words, “A Whale of a Sale.”

Second Presbyterian Church holds its “Whale of a Sale” rummage sale twice a year, once in April, which will be happening this Saturday, and again in October, according to event coordinator Jacki Cole.

The rummage sale has been taking place for decades, and Cole, who has been a member of the church since she was 12 years old, remembers her mom taking part in the sale years ago.

“I think my mom even helped with it 30 years ago,” Cole said, noting that it was held in downtown Carlisle then.

And people are just as enthusiastic about the rummage sale now as they ever were.

The sale starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the morning shift runs until noon, Cole said. Items from toys to housewares to men’s suits, cost anywhere from a quarter to $2.50. The donations come from all over the place, according to Cole.

“(They) come from anyone and everyone,” she said. “Anyone who’s ever been here brings stuff.”

There is then a break for sale coordinators to “re-organize” the materials and have lunch from noon to 1 p.m., and then the sale re-opens from 1-3 p.m. In the afternoon, the price is $1 for everything you can fit in a bag.

But Cole said not to be deceived by the afternoon “$1 for a bag” price. All prices, throughout the day, are incredibly affordable, she said.

“Come at 7 a.m.,” she said. “It really is cheap.”

And the best part of the sale, besides locals being able to find shopping “steals” among the tables of items?

All proceeds go to local missions, including Project SHARE and those that focus on assisting women and children.

“Everything that’s leftover goes to Project SHARE,” Cole said. “They take clothing and bedding and shoes. And then Samaritan Fellowship takes housewares, books, everything else.”

And judging by the massive amount of rummage items being organized for Saturday’s sale, the “Whale of a Sale” is “aptly named,” according to Cole.

More in store

The Second Presbyterian Church is hardly the only one gearing up for yard sale season.

The Carlisle Barracks is also holding its Annual Spring Yard Sale this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

The event is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) and is held in front of individuals’ on-post homes and in the grassy area surrounding the Exchange parking lot.

The public is invited to the Carlisle Barracks Annual Spring Yard Sale. Individuals without a Department of Defense decal on their vehicle must enter the post through the Claremont Road Vehicle Access Center and present a driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Coming soon

The yard sale craze hardly ends this Saturday with the “Whale of a Sale” at Second Presbyterian Church and the Carlisle Barracks Annual Spring Yard Sale, however.

Several neighborhoods, townships and organizations are holding events on future weekends, and the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County will be teaming up with the Student Senate from Dickinson College to hold the annual “U-Turn” yard sale on Saturday, June 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Building T at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. Community members can rent spaces at the sale for $15 until May 2. The rental price is then $20 until June 9, and those who show up at the gate on the day of the event and wish to participate must pay $25.

The “U-Turn” community yard sale is $5 to attend from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on June 9 and then is free after that, according to the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County sale organizer Kelly Major.

To prepare for the “U-Turn” yard sale, which not only boasts treasures from community members but also sells items that Dickinson College students do not want to take home with them at the end of the school year, a “Dorm Storm” and rally are being held on May 4 at the Dickinson College campus.

“We go around and set up all the boxes and the signs (for collection),” Major said. “(We collect) everything the kids don’t want to take home.”

Items collected in the past included microwaves, televisions, lamps, bedding and clothing, among other things, Major said.

“Every year is different,” Major said as far as collections.

All proceeds from the rental of public spaces and the sale of student donations then go toward the United Way’s Community Impact Fund, which helps provide financial assistance to 44 different programs in the community.

“I look forward to this,” Major said of the event.

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