Former Georgetown church holds tag sale in effort to re-open thrift shop

Depending upon the success of a tag sale this weekend, a 25-year-old thrift shop — which closed its doors at the end of June — might be given a new life.

The two-day tag sale will take place at the former Georgetown United Methodist Church, on 38 Church Road, on Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be a wide assortment of items for sale including clothing, jewelry, scarves, sporting goods, vases and furniture. There will also be Christmas- and Halloween-themed tables.  

The tag sale was organized as a result of a merger on July 1 between the Georgetown United Methodist Church and the Long Ridge United Methodist Church in Danbury.

Prices for items at the tag sale begin at $1 for books and ring boxes. There will be bidding for higher-end items, which include a desk secretary and an antique curio cabinet.

The Georgetown church closed after 227 years. For the last 25 of those years, the church ran the thrift shop year round, under the leadership of church member Joan Sundlof. With the merger, the thrift shop had also closed.

According to Strauss, the two churches — which were less than 10 miles apart from one another — shared the same minister, the Rev. Ferdinand Serra.

The thrift shop was a popular venue in Georgetown and proceeds from it helped keep the doors of the church open, said Beth Adamson-Strauss, lay leader of the Long Ridge Church and coordinator of the tag sale.

“Because we are honoring the Georgetown thrift shop, we are holding the tag sale in the former building where the Georgetown church was located,” Strauss said.

Throughout the years, proceeds from the thrift shop have benefited organizations within the Redding community, as well as throughout the United States and abroad. 

This included the Redding Food Pantry and the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury. Nationally, the thrift shop has sponsored mission trips to Appalachia service projects, and supported Housatonic Habitat for Humanity. Internationally, it has supported a book drive to send books to communities in the Philippines.

Sundlof voluntarily organized and ran the thrift shop the entire time it was open. According to Strauss, Sundlof saw how successful the thrift shop had been and how disappointed people were that it had closed.

Sundlof would like to honor her late mother, Yvonne LaPointe Kestenbaum, with its possible re-opening. It was her mother from whom she learned how to become a thrifter, Strauss said.

Due to the generosity of church members and Redding families, donations to the tag sale have been pouring in over the past three weeks, Strauss said.

She added that based upon the success of the tag sale and feedback from the community, “we will be moving forward in terms of whether or not we want to re-open the thrift shop.”