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The ultimate recycling day

UNITY Center holds a sale with a twist

Those of us who are lucky have too much stuff cluttering our closets and drawers. Remember that new shirt in the back of your closet? The one you never wore because it didn't fit quite right? It would probably look pretty good on someone else.

Well, start gathering up your extras and head over to UNITY Center in West Linn. The church is amping up for its annual 'Circulation Day' on Saturday.

The event is promoted as a rummage sale with no price tags. It is open for anyone and everyone. And the best thing? Everything is free.

'People just don't believe it's free,' said Karen St. Clair, assistant to the minister.

UNITY Center Rev. Victoria Etchemendy said the event is the kickoff to the center's fall sustainability series.

'It's kind of an early fall harvest - or recirculation of our bounty,' said Etchemendy. 'As we remove from our homes what no longer serves us but will bless others, we practice what is called the 'Law of Circulation.''

From those with too much, the center hopes to receive good, clean, usable items to be donated.

'We just ask that it would be in good condition, like what a neighbor could use,' said St. Clair.

'This is not an event for dumping worn-out things or items in disrepair,' said Etchemendy. 'Rather, this is where unused clothes, shoes, books, toys and household items - all in excellent condition - can be brought for our neighbors who can truly use them.'

Donations sought range from furniture to dishes to clothes to books to toys.

Although Etchemendy stresses that the event is open for everybody, the center also invites social service agencies in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties to send their clients to the event. Last year, they helped many foster families and Head Start families who really appreciated the items.

St. Clair recalled one family with foster children visiting last year. The parents told the children they could each pick out three toys.

'They were so excited,' St. Clair said.

They also talked about children getting school clothes and jackets that their parents wouldn't have been able to afford.

They also told of a woman from Kenya who took multiple boxes of clothes that she was going to send back to Kenya.

Then there were the foster moms who look after infants. When they saw the mound of baby clothes last year, there were tears in their eyes.

'It's like a treasure hunt when they come in,' Etchemendy said.

A man walking down the street stumbled upon last year's event. He had an upcoming job interview and a wedding to attend but couldn't afford a new suit. But right there, by happenstance, he came across the event and the suits that had been donated.

'Every year is different,' said Etchemendy. 'Anyone can take things.'

This is the UNITY Center's 18th year holding Circulation Day. Before moving its center to West Linn, the event was held at the Lakewood Center in Lake Oswego.

The day of recycling holds true to the UNITY vision and history.

'Our history is caring about our body, our neighbors and our planet,' Etchemendy said.

Donations can be dropped off at the UNITY Center, 20255 Willamette Drive in

West Linn, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Shoppers can stop by from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Anything left over from the event will be donated to a nonprofit charity or the Lake Oswego Goodwill donation center.

Other pieces of the UNITY Center's sustainability series this fall include a Harvest Festival showcasing community resources on Oct. 23 and the 'Dream of a World That Works' workshop on Nov. 19.

For more information about Circulation Day or the series, contact the center at 503-697-9765 or visit www.worldhealing.org.