FLINT TWP. — The parking lot rummage sale at Flint Township Carman- Ainsworth Senior Center is a small fundraiser for the center, but more importantly, it’s a safe way for senior women who live alone to get rid of items they no longer need.
The sale, set for July 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is set up in parking spots in the center’s parking lot. Anyone who uses the senior center can rent a spot for $10, bring in tables and get help setting up. The $10 rental fee goes to the center, but all the money the sellers make goes home with them.
“We started this a few years ago,” said Pam Luna, the center’s executive director. “We had a senior who had some stuff and wanted to have a sale. She lived alone and didn’t feel comfortable having a sale at home for fear someone would know she lived alone. They can come here with all of us to sell and then go home.”
People sell clothing, knickknacks and household items. The center also will be selling hot dogs, chips and pop. The center stays open during the rummage sale with all its regular programming. Luna said there are about 20 seniors signed up for the rummage sale.
“They bring their own tables and stuff,” she said. “Some of them really do it up good. Some of them bring awnings and chairs.”
The center offers a wide variety of activities and information for seniors, including exercise, yoga and Zumba classes; strengthening and conditioning sessions taught by a physical therapist; line dancing; bingo; card games; dominoes; mahjong; painting classes; and crocheting. The center serves lunch every day and breakfast on Fridays. It also provides legal services, services for veterans and Medicare and Medicaid resources.
“I have seniors who come here numerous times a day,” Luna said. “We usually have 75 to 100 people in and out during the day. They may come in for an exercise program in the morning, go home, and come back to play cards. We’re attracting a lot of new members. Everyone says it’s just a welcoming place. We want them to be comfortable and consider this their home.”
The center is supported by Flint Township, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and the senior millage. Luna said the township owns the center’s building, which it shares with the library, and takes care of all the maintenance and yard work. The township also recently agreed to pay half the cost of a new LED sign and half the cost of a new furnace. The school district formats and prints the center’s newsletter and pays for bulk mailing, in addition to providing supplies like toilet paper and labels. Luna said the senior millage provides $170,000 a year.
“The township and the district are very supportive, very helpful,” she said. “The millage pays for staff and enables me to provide all the free classes.”
Luna said the rummage sale attracts a lot of people looking for bargains. The center will have helpers outside to help direct the crowds to available parking. In case of rain, the sale will be rescheduled.