On the first Thursday in October in 1925, to coincide with Maid’s Day Off, Christ Church Winnetka held its first ever Rummage Sale. And a tradition was born.


No one likely could have imagined just how big, how important Rummage, as an event and as a ministry, would become to Christ Church, the community and the entire Chicago metropolitan area.


When all was said and done, after all the various goods were sold that October in 1925, Christ Church’s Rummage Sale had raised approximately $500 ($7,342.31 in today’s dollars).  In the 93 years after that, the growth of Rummage has been exponential.


Further, proceeds from the 2019 the Summer Sale increased by 33 percent (the largest increase ever) and it is expected that by the end of the year Rummage will have hosted a total of four estate sales (the goal was three). Accordingly, the expectations for this year’s Fall Rummage on October 3 are big.


The combination of our Fall and Summer Sales, along with the newest line of Rummage events, the Estate Sales, raised more than $350,000 in 2018. For the last nine years Rummage has raised at least $250,000, and over the last five years the church has donated more than $1 MILLION.


Between now and Fall Rummage, we’ll be bringing you stories of Rummage. Some stories will be more factual, providing interesting facts, figures and tidbits about Rummage at Christ Church. Other pieces will be stories in their own words, highlights and anecdotes from people who have been part of rummage over the years. The goal is to help everyone understand the spirit and history of Rummage.


  • Ashley Gerhard was the Rector of Christ Church in 1925. To date we have had six rectors since Rummage began.
  • It wasn’t until circa 1995 that we had our first Paid Rummage Coordinator. Each of the first two Rummage Coordinators, including Charlotte McGee, held the position for 10 years.
  • In the years before the paid position, Rummage was chaired by volunteers, two of the most recent co-chairs included Georganne Chalmers and Gail Hodges were in that group.
  • Approximately 25 years ago a second Sale date, in early June, was added, to further increase the funds Christ Church could raise, and donate to the community.
  • Annually there are more than 400 volunteers who work Rummage in some capacity, on the day of sale and throughout the year.
  • On average, Christ Church donates proceeds from Rummage to 65 charities and agencies throughout the Chicago area; gifts range from $1,000 to $5,000.

If you have an interesting Rummage anecdote or story to share—the best bargain you ever secured, a “what was I thinking” purchase, or priceless interactions with shoppers—please let us know.


Email: rummage@christchurchwinnetka.org