‘The chaos of all the different stuff you can find’

Beautiful Junk Sale attracts those who shop for a good cause

Posted 3/19/19

Thousands upon thousands of trinkets and knickknacks, gizmos and gadgets filled the 10,500 square-feet space of the Exhibit Hall at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden. “You never know what …

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‘The chaos of all the different stuff you can find’

Beautiful Junk Sale attracts those who shop for a good cause

Posted

Thousands upon thousands of trinkets and knickknacks, gizmos and gadgets filled the 10,500 square-feet space of the Exhibit Hall at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden.

“You never know what you’re going to find” at the Beautiful Junk Sale, said Tawney Eisenbraun, the Action Center’s marketing coordinator. “There’s an eclectic collection of items, but it’s especially impressive because it’s all donated by the community.”

The Beautiful Junk Sale is a two-day mega thrift sale put on by The Action Center that takes place twice each year, in the spring and the fall. The Action Center is a human-services nonprofit that helps Jefferson County residents experiencing homelessness or struggling to meet basic needs, attain self-sufficiency. All the proceeds from the volunteer-run Beautiful Junk Sale benefit The Action Center.

“It’s fun finding something different and unique,” said Linda New of Lakewood who has been attending both the spring and fall Beautiful Junk Sales for about five years.

New wasn’t shopping for anything in particular on March 15, but “I always find something,” she said.

That day, New found some crafting items and jewelry for her children.

March 15 and 16 was the 85th Beautiful Junk Sale — it’s been going on for 42 years.

“Inside church basements is how it all began,” Eisenbraun said. “Then it just grew and grew and grew.”

The sale itself is a well-organized event, said Rebecca McAlister who has been volunteering with The Action Center for about nine years. But the fun about it is the chaos of all the different stuff you can find, she added.

Sandy Jensen has also volunteered with The Action Center for about nine years, and the Beautiful Junk Sale is something she and her daughter Marci enjoy doing together.

“We think The Action Center is a great organization because it serves the citizens of Jefferson County,” Sandy Jensen said.

Fred Ahr of Pine Grove has been shopping at both the spring-and fall-Beautiful Junk Sales for probably the past 10 years because his wife Jane brings him along, he said.

They look at everything, this time finding a “really beautiful (purple) tea kettle,” Ahr said, but the most interesting thing about the Beautiful Junk Sales are the people — the shoppers and the volunteers.

“They’re friendly and enjoy saying hello,” Ahr said. “This day and age, sadly, that’s unusual.”

Nine-year-old Zoie Trujillo was especially excited to find some Barbie stuff on March 15 because she’s “never seen Barbie tree ornaments before,” she said.

Trujillo of Lakewood and her mom have been coming to the spring-and-fall Beautiful Junk Sales for about two-or-three years, she said.

She said she likes finding new things, “because then I get to have new stuff.”

People who shop at The Beautiful Junk Sale are shopping for a good cause, said Barbara Penning, The Action Center’s director of volunteer programs and product.

Some people come for the fun of thrift shopping, Penning said. They find a replacement for a beloved antique or collectable that, years ago, ended up getting broken somehow, Penning said. Or, they find an item that sparks a memory or reminds them of a time in their past, such as a particular cooking utensil their grandmother used in her kitchen, she added.

“Others simply want to support The Action Center,” Penning said. “Beautiful Junk Sale attracts people who care about the community. It’s human beings helping each other.”

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