More Than $30,000 in Tables, Supplies Stolen from Charity Rummage Sale

Red Semi Truck On Interstate In Springtime
Although the Upscale Rummage Sale in Lake Forest, IL, isn’t happening until April 23 through 25, the charity event has already hit a major snag after the founder discovered the tables for the event were missing.

The sale’s founder, Renee Baldwin, discovered that the semi-trailer storing supplies for the event had gone missing from the parking lot where it had been stored.

In addition to the 125 banquet tables needed to hold rummage sale items, the trailer also included $30,000 in supplies, such as professionally made signage, commercial shelving racks and gridwall.

The police have been notified of the theft and are currently investigating the whereabouts of the missing trailer, but so far they have been unable to track down the trailer or the items.

But to keep the sale going, Baldwin is asking community members and organizations to loan supplies for this year’s sale. She says she is especially interested in finding 125 #30 eight-foot banquet tables.

“I prefer to not spend money to rent new tables, because the money would otherwise go to charity,” she said.

Baldwin has been collecting supplies for the sale since she started the event 14 years ago.

Since its inception, the event has benefited a number of non-profit organizations in the area. Over 14 years, she has held 17 sales and has raised more than $250,000 for the Lake Forest Montessori School, NorthPoint Resources, LEAD, Lakeside Singers Outreach Program, House of Peace, PADS, Lake County Seniors and Lake County Veteran’s Closet, along with various pet shelters, church organizations and infant welfare programs.

This year, Baldwin is hoping to add Mothers Trust Foundation, which helps support mothers and children in Lake County, to the list of recipients.

In addition to funding local non-profits, the sale helps people afford a variety of home goods, including clothing, athletic equipment, high chairs, cribs, artwork, kitchenware, furniture and more.

Even furniture with torn upholstery, which is often not accepted by larger organizations, can be donated to the rummage sale because, Baldwin says, it can be salvaged.

Like the many charity clothing pick ups throughout the nation, the rummage sale will even pick up larger items like furniture within a 10-mile radius of Lake Bluff. All they ask for is a $50 donation for the pickup since the movers are paid rather than volunteer workers.

The only items that the rummage sale won’t accept are textbooks, household chemicals and outdated electronics, computers, or tube televisions.

Baldwin is also calling on the community to donate space for the Upscale Rummage Sale, which many have done in previous years. This year and last, however, she has had to rent warehouse space.

The current location for the sale is only about 5,000 feet, but she said she has enough merchandise this year to fill up to 20,000 square feet of space.

Sadly, the Upscale Rummage Sale isn’t the only charity to have items stolen.

Furniture Bank, a charity that delivers furniture to families in need in the Greater Toronto Area, had catalytic converters stolen from some of the charity’s trucks on Friday, Feb. 27, as seen on security footage taken outside the facility.

This isn’t the first time the trucks have had parts stolen. The security cameras had been installed after the second time the catalytic converters were removed from the charity’s trucks.

The parts are worth thousands of dollars at scrap metal yards.

Executives at Furniture Bank, which delivers furniture to new Canadians, abused women and people who were homeless, said it could take weeks until the trucks are fixed. In the meantime, the organization will rent trucks to keep deliveries on schedule.

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