Everything has a purpose, and what is used by one person may have a totally different meaning or use to another. One woman’s repurposed item is another’s opportunity to a college education.
For the members of the Sedalia Chapter of the PEO/BB organization, Saturday is an opportunity to prove that one person repurposed item is an opportunity to help others attend college.
The 35 women who are members of the local chapter are hosting a tag sale, with the proceeds helping to fund six scholarship programs. The tag sale will feature repurposed furniture, home décor and seasonal items as well as baked items and preserves.
“We’re a philanthropic educational organization,” member Judi Moore said. “Our primary purpose is to help young women further their education after their high school graduation through grants, loans and scholarships.
“The organization was founded in 1829 by Alice Cotter,” Moore added. “It was her wish to help young women receive an education so she started a college, Cottey College, a fully-accredited liberal arts college in Nevada, Missouri, that the group still owns and maintains today.”
Moore commented that the original seven founders were a very diverse group of individuals who had one common goal: education.
The financial support PEO provides is not just in the form of scholarships.
Moore said many of the chapters will adopt international students who may not have the opportunity to go home to be with their loved ones while they attend college in the United States.
She added that the experience is a bonding one for both the students and the women who are members.
Last year (April through March) the ELF International fund provided more than $12 million in low interest loans, according to Gena Swearingen.
“One of our scholarships, the Star scholarship, is designed to help women who started their college education when they were young,” Moore explained. “Then for some reason they had to leave school.
“The STAR scholarship is a way to help them return to school,” she said. “It’s a way for non-traditional students to get another start in college.”
This is the second year for the benefit tag sale.
“We’ve met four days to get everything ready for the sale, but I think some of us have done a little work at home too,” Moore said Wednesday afternoon while meeting with some other members to make the final preparations for the sale. “We have all kinds of items and all of it came from us or our friends and family.
“We have had a lot of fun repurposing many of the items and it all benefits students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to go to college,” she added. “We are all really committed to this project and helping the students achieve their goals.”
The PEO/BB tag sale will open at 8 a.m. Saturday (no pre-sales) at 1750 S. Hedge Apple Dr. in Walnut Hills.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.