The annual event to raise money for Our Lady of Malibu (OLM) School started off more 50 years ago as a yard sale in parishioner Carol Dillon’s driveway. The event has since grown to more of a “warehouse sale” with donated items taking up the entire OLM parish hall and extending to areas outside.
This year’s sale began Aug. 12 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 20, open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and featuring clothing and home furnishings boutiques, shoes, a children’s corner, antiques, framed art, collectors’ items, jewelry, books, appliances and electronics, fine furniture, plants, linens, area rugs and more.
A dedicated core group of about eight volunteers is responsible for successfully pulling off this gargantuan effort every year. Volunteer Beverly Gleason, who is 79 and retired after 52 years of teaching, has been part of that core group for the past five years. She says the youngest volunteers are in their sixties, and that at least three are in their eighties. One has been volunteering at the event for over 30 years and actually flies in from Florida or Hawaii in order to participate.
Gleason explained that donated items for the sale come mainly from OLM parishioners, who respond to ads in the church bulletin, “The Pulpit,” but anyone is welcome to donate. People start bringing their items in to the parish office and its storage facility up to two months before the sale.
The volunteers start working full-time about two weeks prior to the yard sale “just to unpack crates and hang everything up,” Gleason said, not to mention arranging displays of furniture and household items, and organizing clothes and shoes by size. During each of the nine days of the sale, volunteers work from about 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. After the sale ends, they spend days disassembling and repacking all of the leftover items.
Word of the OLM sale travels far and wide and volunteers say customers come from all over the surrounding area.
“Clothes and shoes are very big with the customers,” Gleason said. “I was also shocked at how many people are still buying books—one person bought 14 books for an old people’s home. Electronics and appliances like toasters are also popular, along with sports equipment and certain vintage items like vinyl 45 RPM records.”
The items are priced to sell. “We have backpacks and suitcases for only five dollars,” Gleason said, “And $100 pairs of shoes for two dollars. We see a lot of very in-need people come in, and they’re overjoyed with their purchases … Prices on items range from 25 cents to $500 for a major piece of furniture.”
She said a college student furnishing her first apartment this year had made a lot of good finds, including a nice area rug for only $25. The church even delivers large items like rugs and furniture.
The annual yard sale had been on hiatus for about three years due to a major construction and renovation project at the church, and the parishioners appeared to have been saving up their unwanted items until the sale returned. Because of that, Gleason said, “This year we had a plethora of very fine donations—clothing brands like j. jill, and a lot of fine furniture.”
After the sale ends, leftover items that did not sell are donated to a variety of other parishes and nonprofit organizations. “We found a lot of charities just salivating to take our clothes, et cetera,” Gleason said.
OLM is still accepting donated items even during the sale. Donations can be brought to the Yard Sale, located at Our Lady of Malibu Church and School, 3625 Winter Canyon, up until Sunday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They ask that all donated items be in clean, saleable condition. Tax donation receipts are available. Additional volunteers are also welcome; including help just after the sale is over. For information, call 310.456.3060.