Following her untimely death in 2008 at the age of 38, the future of the sale seemed uncertain. But inspired by Williams’s devotion to helping those in need, her friends and fellow members of the Apex UMC women’s Friendship Circle decided to carry on with the event.
Countless women and children throughout the Triangle are thankful for that decision.
The annual Friendship Closet Consignment Sale will be held Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26 in the church’s Christian Life Center on S. Hughes Street. Hours are 6-9 p.m. on Friday and 7-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, which includes select merchandise being marked down 50 percent The sale features gently used clothing, toys and equipment for babies, children and maternity.
“This was all under Katie’s direction when it started,” said Casey Purdy, who is co-coordinator of the event with Linda Hadley. “This was very much her baby. She was so active and the mother of two young girls when she passed away. It was just shocking.
“We weren’t sure what to do and then we regrouped. The Women’s Circle overwhelmingly wanted to go on with the sale and honor her legacy.”
Williams wanted the sale to be an event that volunteers could enjoy while raising money for local women and children’s charities.
The sale has become so successful that it reached its maximum of 125 consignors in 2010 and is quickly approaching that mark in 20011.
“When we started it was just a way to do something enjoyable and make some money for charities,” said Purdy. “But each year it has gotten a little bit bigger and a little bit better.
“Every year we learn some new things that help improve the sale. We also seem to find a new organization that we can help.”
Last year, more than 4,000 items were sold and nearly 300 people shopped at the event.
The money raised allowed the Friendship Circle to make donations to Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network, Christian Life Home, Project Comfort, Wake Med Neonatal ICU, Durham Rescue Mission, Western Wake Crisis Ministry, Methodist Home for Children, Apex UMC Latino Ministries, Apex UMC Preschool, and Apex UMC Community Clothes Closet.
Money is also set aside for consignment sale gift certificates that are given to local families in need.
“We’ve really gotten creative with the sale and it has morphed into a missions outreach project,” said Williams. “Every sale we try to do things a little better. We even have volunteer t-shirts, which was one of Katie’s original plans. It’s very satisfying to see all of this happening.”
For more information on the sale and opportunities to become a consignor visit www.friendshipcloset.com.