Twenty years ago, members of Faith Church in Issaquah organized a garage sale benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Several people at the small congregation had been swinging hammers at Habitat builds on a regular basis. And they wanted to do more.

That first year, the two-day garage sale in late September raised about $5,000, that helped us purchase much-needed building supplies. It’s has grown every year since, bringing in nearly $350,000 in all, according to Bill Bennett, who’s organized the event with his wife, Jan, and other volunteers year after year.

“It’s the greatest source of satisfaction,” Bill says. “It brings the community together.”

So many people donate so many items for benefit, it now takes two full days to set up, with more than 100 volunteers helping to make it all happen. People from many different denominations help out, not just members of Faith Church.

“There’s more fellowship created at this event than anything else we ever do throughout the year,” Bill says.

Several corporate partners play a huge role in the event’s success, including Rowley Properties, which donates storage; FASTSIGNS of Issaquah, which donates signage; and Republic Services, which donates a container for the items that aren’t saleable.

All expenses, including food for volunteers, rentals of trucks that pick up donated items and tents used at the sale, are donated by friends and members of Faith Church. As a result, 100% of proceeds from the sale go directly to Habitat for Humanity.

Organizers are still finalizing the numbers from this year’s 20th anniversary sale, which they estimate raised about $25,000.

We’re incredibly grateful for tremendous effort that so many volunteers put into this event, and for all the shoppers who have made it such a fruitful tradition of giving — and bargain hunting!

To learn more or get involved in next year’s sale, email H4H@faithunited.org.