WAHOO – It began with a small table in the library.
The Wahoo Library is in its 20th year of selling a variety of trees, ornaments, garland and holiday dishes.
Denise Lawver, library director said it all started as a project for the old library to collect new ornaments.
“The ones we had were ratty and tatty and obviously you can’t spend tax payer’s dollars to buy Christmas decorations,” Lawver said. “My assistant and I realized we had a lot of unused Christmas decorations at home so we decided to bring them in and maybe raise some money to buy new ones.”
Lawver said they didn’t price anything during the first sale.
“It was free will donations and we raised enough money to buy a really nice tree and decorations,” Lawver said. “Library visitors were drawn to the idea and started to donate and it ballooned from there.”
She believes that timing was key.
“During the summer months when most folks are having garage sales the Christmas stuff is usually all packed away and you don’t usually get it out to sort for a garage sale,” she said. “This gives people an opportunity when they are getting out their decorations to sort through, the timing was fabulous.”
One goal for this year is to gain more than just decorations.
“This started out as a Friends of the Library project and they aren’t as active as they used to be,” Lawver said. “We’re hoping to be able to continue, but only if we get more volunteers.”
A volunteer crew of two or three people is on her wish list.
“We need volunteers who would be willing to come into the library once a month to pre-sort everything,” she said. “Everything goes to the basement initially and we have one lady who currently comes and we could use more hands.”
Having a monthly crew would cut down on the amount of time spent sorting through a lot of decorations all at once.
“We spend a huge amount of time sorting everything. If we could sort everything monthly when it came in it would be a lot easier. When it came time to set up we could get it done in one day.”
Funds raised are given back to the library and have been used for programming, funding summer reading, events and computers for the kid’s area.
“Wherever the need is that is where we use the funds, this year we’d like to bulk up the DVDs,” she said.
After hundreds of trees and enough string lights to light up the road from here to Malmo, Lawver is grateful for the ongoing community support.
“People here are so generous,” she said. “We are so thankful for the community who continues to make this so successful.”