DES PLAINES (WBBM) — Bring what you don’t want, and take home what you need – for free. That’s the spirit behind an event Saturday called “Collection Day” at a church in Des Plaines.

You can bring a teapot and go home with a bedroom set, if one is available. Just don’t tell Minister Greg Barrette that you are looking for the rummage sale at Unity Northwest Church, at 235 E. Central Rd., in Des Plaines, because nothing is for sale.

“We believe that there’s plenty to go around,” he said. “It’s just not being distributed right.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Collection Day is an attempt to change that.

Barrette says he has seen a number of unusual items come and go – everything from refrigerators and beds to a woody station wagon and jewelry.

“Bring their gently used and unwanted items, perhaps something they haven’t used in the past year, or don’t expect to use in the coming year, drop them off and then take the things that you need,” he said.

Barrette said the idea began with Unitarian churches in Nigeria in the 1960s and has been adopted in many other places. Barrette has staged similar events about a dozen times and estimates that more than 100,000 people have brought something, and taken something else home.

Drop-offs began Friday at the church, but Barrette said those who take part are welcome to bring unwanted items Saturday as well.

Collection Day runs from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the church.

Barrette estimates that about 80 percent of what is brought goes home with someone else. He said the rest will be donated to the Salvation Army or other community service agencies.

For more information, call (847) 297-0997 or visit the Unity Northwest Web site, at

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