Friday, April 26, 2013

Pink Elephant Sale - third time around!!

Today was my third OWC Pink elephant sale but this one was a little different - it was my baby.

And very like a baby it was at times.....or maybe more like a toddler - unpredictable, didn't follow directions, very dirty, messy and to be honest quite disgusting but at the same time friendly, warm and I did come out of the tantrum years a survivor!

As it takes a village to raise a child so it takes a gang of wonderful volunteers to raise a pink elephant sale.

Now it has left home, well the boxes (yes all 86 from my garage}) do I feel like an empty nester, not at all! Sitting next to a not so wee g & t, ice and a slice I'm quite happy - tho' I do keep having thoughts about how maybe we could do better next year.........

Why this jumble/rummage/yard sale is called a pink elephant sale......... White elephant maybe -that is the term for those things you buy that are perfectly functional but just don't have a place in your life. Your trash is someone else's jewels. But pink elephant is used to describe drunken hallucinations. As the gullible making overly optimistic comments might see pigs fly, hence those who have been on the sauce might see pink elephants. So how we get from white elephants to pink ones I have no idea.

I'm still not quite sure why I stepped up to babysit the pink ele ....I think that will remain an unsolved mystery!

This OWC jumble sale is huge. For weeks 'gently used, clean and sorted' clothes, shoes, household goods, book etc' are dropped off at kind members houses around the city or at our weekly coffee morning. Reread 'gently used, clean and sorted' Some clothes were good quality, folded and yes gently used. However at the other end of the spectrum my little pink ele was used as a trash can, a dumping ground for shoes with holes in them, shirts with stains and holes and dare I say it used underwear and I am not talking little girls socks.

Eighty six box loads of stuff arrived over the last two or so weeks into my garage to be sorted and re- boxed. Purander sorted and sorted. I have to admit at times he looked a triffle bemused by some of the western ladies apparel  - some of which seemed to him to have too many holes and not sufficient material!

Yesterday the boxes from my garage and a couple of other temporary sorting depots were picked up by a moving company and taken to the scene of the sale. Scene of the sale was far too close to Chinnaswamy stadium. Last night as Bengaluru became ben-gayle-ru as da man hit sixes into the stars and broke nearly as many records as his profusion of sixes I could hear the cheers as I and the guys bringing the tables and chairs followed the score on my iphone as we waited to get onto the badminton courts which would be transformed into pink ele 2013.

Leaving the venue with tables up and boxes close to their allocated space whether that be ladies clothes, mens, kids, toys, household etc. I and another amazing volunteer headed home to prepare for an early start.

I was back at the Ladies Club by 7.00am. As the hours ticked by an army of OWC volunteers descended, unpacked and prepared for action. At 10.30 the door opened and the volcano erupted. Push, push, shove, shove, grabbing bargains sifting through piles of colors, styles and sizes. Sheer bedlam - but fun!

What I like about the Pink Elephant is that it is not about “us”. It’s about something bigger. It’s about service. It’s about re-cyling. It’s about teamwork.  It’s about getting down and dirty and doing something for the good.

We banked over 2 lakh from the day’s sales. Money, which goes to our charities. We sold stuff we no longer wanted or needed to those who were excited to have and re-use. After the sale was over our charities were invited to come and take anything they could use for free. The ProVision girls had thought they’d only find enough stuff for their special needs school to fill an auto but ended up having to send back to base for a van. The remaining few boxes of stuff were taken direct to Home of Hope (another of our charities). Nothing wasted.

After arriving in the peaceful early morn to a couple of hundred boxes, neatly lined up and sealed……switching  to seven hours later being in the same place deserted but for a boy sweeping up the last remaining bits of trash and dust, I could only think how blessed we are to have the opportunities we have here in Bangalore to do even a little something for someone other than ourselves. After that little reflection it was time to catch up some fellow volunteers for a well deserved (I think) spot of lunch!! 

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