Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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November 20, 2012

‘Pay it Forward’ event returns after much success

BROWNSBURG — Debbie Wingler calls it an “indoor garage sale with a twist.” The twist is that everything is free, and the annual Pay it Forward event at The Journey Church here is larger than ever.

This is the fourth year for the event, which turns the church into somewhat of a large department store.

They are currently accepting drop off donations between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The actual shopping event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8.

The premise is very simple. Community members in need can come to the church, shop for items they need, and get everything for free.

“Everyone in the community who could use a blessing is welcome to come and shop for free,” Wingler said. “We don’t have any criteria. Any age is welcome. We’ll have stuff for newborns all the way up to all adult sizes, all children’s sizes in shoes and clothes, and we’ll have toys. The last two years we’ve had to use the entire church because every room was full of donations. We go from one department to the next. After 1 p.m., we will reorganize and reopen the doors and people can come take what’s leftover.”

Items are organized in separate rooms, such as clothing, toys, and what they call their “big ticket items.”

“Last year was kind of cool because we had a kitchen remodel that we took in, and we had a kitchen sink that was given away,” Mark Wingler said. “A guy came in and got the sink and filled his shopping baskets, and came in and said, ‘I got everything and the kitchen sink.’

“The people in our community who are truly needy are very grateful. They talk about the blessing. This event is for them to be able to provide toys and goods for their kids. The fact is, we probably get more out of it than they do. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to help those people because of economic situation or what life has shown them and they really need that hand up to get started again. It’s been pretty incredible.”

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