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UMC Women's groups from 3 churches join for charity thrift sale
Judy Miller organizes donated items on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church in preparation for an upcoming thrift sale. The sale, which is scheduled for Saturday, was organized by several United Methodist Women groups in the area and will benefit the organization Sacred Roots Farm. - photo by David Barnes

As far as Betty Fisher can tell, the United Methodist Women groups in churches across Gainesville have never joined hands and come together as one. That’s all going to change today Saturday, April 14.

Gainesville First United Methodist, Antioch United Methodist and St. Paul United Methodist churches on Washington Street and Hunter Street will join for a multichurch thrift sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Paul on the corner of Washington Street and Academy Street. The effort is to raise money for the organization of their choosing.

Multichurch Thrift Sale
Where: 404 Washington St. NW, Gainesville

When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14

As far as Betty Fisher can tell, the United Methodist Women groups in churches across Gainesville have never joined hands and come together as one. That’s all going to change today.

Gainesville First United Methodist, Antioch United Methodist and St. Paul United Methodist churches on Washington Street and Hunter Street will join for a multichurch thrift sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Paul on the corner of Washington Street and Academy Street. The effort is to raise money for the organization of their choosing.

“At Christmas time, the United Methodist Women have what we call Treasures, where people bring in things from their home that they treasure, but the children maybe don’t want them,” said Fisher, a member of First UMC and organizer of the sale. “This past Christmas, we had so many treasures come in that one of the members said we should have a garage sale.”

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May Wall, center, hands bags of donated items to Judy Miller on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church in preparation for an upcoming thrift sale. The sale, which is scheduled for Saturday, was organized by several United Methodist Women groups in the area and will benefit the organization Sacred Roots Farm. - photo by David Barnes
From there, the idea grew. Fisher told one person about it, who told another, then another, and before she knew it, four churches were involved.

“I was so pleased and surprised and honored that they all just volunteered completely,” Fisher said. “We’ve worked really well together, and I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be a great event.”

She said there will be just about everything available at the thrift sale, including coffee makers, puzzles, clothes, some tools and Christmas items will be spread across the parking lot for visitors to look through.

Each church will set up items it brings separately from the others to better keep track of what is sold and the money raised and the mission it chooses. 

First UMC chose Sacred Roots Farm, described as a new, “long-term recovery program specifically designed for sexually exploited and trafficked women and their children” in Gainesville. She said the church had Sacred Roots’ executive director, Sam Haupt, speak at a luncheon and she came away impressed.

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Judy Miller, left, speaks with Betty Fisher, one of the organizers of the thrift sale, on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. The thrift sale, which is scheduled for Saturday, was organized by several United Methodist Women groups in the area and will benefit the organization Sacred Roots Farm. - photo by David Barnes
“It’s just such an awesome thing they have been doing for women and children that have been taken away and are coming back, helping them rehabilitate into society,” Fisher said.

Working together for the first time has gone just about as well as any of the women could have hoped. Fisher said the churches hope to make it a yearly event. Joanne Ramsey, a member of St. Paul on Hunter Street and president of United Methodist Women at her church, said communication has been key.

“It’s just like working with everybody you see every day, like your co-workers at your job,” Ramsey said. “Everything has been going beautifully. We just work together and provide information to each other.”

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