In five hours on Saturday May 5th at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, the AKEN committee earned
$13,113.20 for its cause – the cause of supporting programs and activities for Estonian children and
youth in Canada and in Estonia. And an additional $385.00 flowed into the coffers on May 12th from the
Esto Boutique after-sale at the Estonian Nursery School Mother’s Day and Graduation event at Eesti
Maja. That makes a grand total of $13,500….…so far this May!
The AKEN committee, itself a completely volunteer run organization, depends entirely 100% on
volunteer-power to carry out its fundraising activities, which up to this point have included 20 GIANT
rummage sales, 2 smaller giant rummage sales, 2 gala balls and a festive variety show and exhibit type
of event at Esto House.
But it’s the rummage sales, not the gala balls or other events, which have attracted literally hundreds
of volunteer workers over the years. Many of the volunteers caught the rummage sale bug early on and
have come back time and again to help out with the many and varied aspects of the AKEN recycle,
resell and reuse machine.
Needless to say, the “recycle, resell and reuse” aspect of the rummage sale does not apply to one invaluable,
self-contained section of the event and that is the Café and Bake Sale. Nothing but fresh ingredients are
used by this particular cadre of dedicated volunteers, some of them veterans from the early years of the
Many other volunteers give freely of their time because they are drawn by the excitement and the hustle-
bustle of it all, others because they actually enjoy the physical workout and yet others because they love
the challenge of turning chaos into order and turning other people’s recyclables into reusable hard cash.
Working for a common cause has always been a uniting force for the volunteers involved with the AKEN
rummage sales. This year, as in previous years, a feeling of camaraderie and good will prevailed during
the three long labour-intensive work-days preceding the sale. And on the day of the sale, the friendly
presence of no fewer than 60 volunteers, clad in the familiar hot-pink on black t-shirts, was felt everywhere
by the bargain-hungry customers.
And after the sale, that which took 80 volunteers three full days of diligent, pain-staking work to assemble,
was disassembled and relocated into a waiting Oasis truck by 45 volunteers in 2 hours. The efforts of the
clean-up crew were rewarded not only with a bowl of delicious “seljankasupp”, black bread, beer and
“kringel” but also with the good news that the day’s take had surpassed $13,000! And so at the end of a
hard day’s work, the volunteers left with a sense of satisfaction for a job well done for a worthwhile cause!
Is it any wonder that organizing rummage sales is the fund-raising activity of preference for the women
of the AKEN committee? Twenty-two years of experience has shown that a crew of willing and able
volunteers are merely a telephone call or click of the keyboard away!
If it were up to the donators, the customers and the scores of volunteers to decide whether there should
be an AKEN basaar #23 in 2013 - the answer would likely be ”yes”. However…stay tuned to find out
what the organizers of this event, the women of the AKEN committee think of such a plan for 2013..
AKEN BASAAR’s earnings hit $13,500! And that’s the power of volunteerism!