I am almost too scared to share this secret with you because it is so good. I will be up early next Saturday to clamour into the doors as they open and take advantage of the bargains to be had. What could possibly be that good to sacrifice a Saturday sleep-in you might ask? The Salvation Army’s twice fundraising bazaar.
In Australia, I loved going to the Salvation Army run ‘op shops’ (short for opportunity or thrift shops). I never knew what treasures I would find, and I always found a bargain. The lady at our local shop knew me by name, and often helped identify things Mr Taiwanxifu and I might have missed. Not that we missed much: most of our home was kitted out with Salvos furniture, and on more than one occasion I frocked up to work in Salvos sourced clothing. People often commented on our tasteful furniture, and colleagues would never have guessed that some of my most fashionable outfits (the object of many compliments) were sourced from the Salvos. I certainly didn’t feel deprived or that I was forced to go without: far from it, the bargains I found were of good quality, environmental and helped to fund the good work that the Salvation Army does.
I had always thought that the op shopping experience was something that I couldn’t replicate in Taiwan. But then a friend who was a Salvation Army officer told me about the Taipei church’s six monthly bazaars. I must admit that I went to their December sale just to show my moral support. But I came home with a HUGE garbage bag filled with unexpected finds including jewelry, winter coats, winter jumpers, shirts and dresses. I regretfully said no to a beautiful vintage cheongsam (oh, how I wished I could have fitted into it!) and still wonder why I didn’t buy a rare yellow jade necklace (later I found the most perfect dress that would have gone with it).
The thing I liked the best about the Bazaar was that there were clothes that fit less-than-perfect Western frames. And the lovely staff and volunteers were so excited to see me, seizing upon me to see if I might possibly fit into the many Western-sized clothing items that they had been gifted. A team of two kept finding new things for me to try on. “Ohhh, this would really suit you,” one of the volunteers would offer. “And what about this for your husband? Does he like genuine Burberry, never-been-worn-before lambswool jumpers?” someone else added just when I thought I had reached my limit. (Yes, Mr Taiwanxifu did like his jumper although it was a little tight for him — time to go on a diet in the name of fashion I think.)
This year’s Bazaar fundraiser is part of the Salvos Self Denial Appeal, an annual fundraising activity to fund its international activities in the 126 countries in which it operates. I have attached a letter from the Taiwan Regional Commander, Liet-Commander Jennifer Groves below, that talks about the spirit of the appeal. But you don’t really have to go without to help — you can indulge in buying things at the bazaar to help the self denial appeal.
The details of the bazaar are as follows:
Date: 22 June 2013
Time: 9.00am to 2.30pm
Salvation Army Central Corps: No 1, Lane 208, Siwei Road, Da’an District (大安區四維路208巷1號) [Note: the church is a small building a side street not far from Dunhua South Road.]
Items for sale: clothing, jewelry, kitchen ware, unexpected treasures, Impact Coffee
For further details, or to discuss any items to donate (a good chance to declutter for a good cause before heading home over summer), contact Major Rebecca Hsu on Phone (02) 2705-8150, Mobile 0936-865560, or email Rebecca_Hsu@taw.salvationarmy.org.
See you there!
Message from the Taiwan-based Regional Commander:
It is a joy to greet you as we launch the 2013 Self Denial Appeal. This is a significant appeal not only for us as a region, but for The Salvation Army internationally.
Since the very early days of The Salvation Army, Salvationists have participated in acts of sacrificial giving in order to give to this appeal. This provides financial support to territories and commands around the world who do not have sufficient financial resources to sustain their ministries.
Without financial resources provided through the Self Denial Appeal we cannot fulfil our mission to take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world of the hurting, broken, lonely, dispossessed and lost, reaching them in love by all means, which is our God given calling.
All 126 countries where The Salvation Army is currently working, rich and poor, developed or developing, large or small join hands as brothers and sisters in Christ to participate in this act of self denial. Everyone who is part of our international family including corps, social and community services and Headquarters is invited and encouraged to be involved. That means we are each invited to participate in this appeal.
This year our theme is Local Corps and Global Mission. In Acts 4:32 the example of the early church reminds us that:
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, they shared everything they had.”
We live in a time of financial challenge and this is impacting lives in many ways. The Self Denial Appeal is our opportunity to recognise the effect this is having on people and to do something practical to make a difference in the lives of others. Our giving will contribute to providing life changing opportunities for those in desperate and challenging situations. Our giving will enable others to find hope. In fact, our giving will mean more to others than what we can imagine.
I therefore invite you to prayerfully consider what you can give, to be willing to make a personal sacrifice so that others can experience the transforming message of Jesus which brings freedom, hope and life through the ministry of The Salvation Army.
God bless you as you give this year.
Yours in his service
Jennifer A Groves