A local nonprofit organization which provides affordable housing to single, working women in the community will hold a porch sale next weekend to help keep it afloat.

A local nonprofit organization which provides affordable housing to single, working women in the community will hold a porch sale next weekend to help keep it afloat.

From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 2, the Women's City Club of Delaware will host a volunteer-driven sale of goods ranging from couches to collectibles at its 19th century Victorian home at 135 N. Franklin St.

The event, which is held when the 51-year-old organization can muster the manpower and enough offerings to pull it off, serves as its leading fundraiser. It not only helps members -- whose average age is 72 -- continue to provide housing to low-income single women who earn regular paychecks, but also provides funding to maintain the club's 121-year-old home.

"The club is totally run by fundraisers and donations," said Julia Thompson, a WCC member and porch sale organizer. "We're not government subsidized in any way.

"This is our big fundraiser, and we need it. We have windows in need of repair, and there's some exterior maintenance that's just above and beyond the normal cost of running the facility."

The WCC was formed as a social club including a group of women who purchased the North Franklin Street home. Previously, the facility housed the Sigma Chi and Phi Gamma Delta fraternities.

In 1957, Glen Way, a local industrialist and husband of then-club president Zuella Way, purchased the home's mortgage and presented the home as a gift to the club.

Since then, the WCC has provided 10 rooms on its second and third floors to single, working women of all ages. The women pay about $40 to $50 a week for their one-room accommodations, and buy and cook their own meals at the home.

Throughout the year, the first floor of the WCC home is rented for events, such as parties and dinners. Fees from that, as well as annual $25-per-member dues, monthly luncheons and frequent bake and candy sales help the club pay utilities, but aren't enough to cover maintenance costs.

Thus the need for the sporadic porch sales, Thompson said.

"We had a porch sale about two years ago and made $1,020," she said. "That's the most we've ever made and we'd like to do better this year.

"What really surprises me is how few people are aware of the club."

Since April, WCC members have scoured the community seeking donations of items for the porch sale. In addition to help from donors, Thompson said the club has received a wealth of support from businesses and individuals in the community who've helped store and move sale items.

Most notably, Thompson said, members of Grace Brethren Church have helped move items, and BNL Pack Rat donated two storage units. Steve Barton, operations manager of Two Men and a Truck Moving Co. of Westerville, also donated his business' services to transport items last week from storage to the WCC home.

"(Two Men and a Truck founder) Mary Ellen Sheets always instilled in all the franchises that it starts in the community," Barton said. "I'm a resident of Delaware, and I've always wanted to take opportunities to work in the area I live in.

"It feels even better when they were so surprised, and when they're struggling so much to get volunteers. We've got guys that are younger and they're fast. In maybe three, four hours, we'll have it done."

Thompson said the assistance has been invaluable, and she hopes it yields record returns for the club.

"We've been putting things in storage since April," Thompson said. "We filled the two units up in May.

"People from the all over the community have rallied to support us. I don't know what we would have done without them, especially Two Men and a Truck and BNL. We would have never been able to amass this many items without them, and the more items you have, the more potential there is to generate money."

nellis@thisweeknews.com