Sacred Earth Center garage sale draws a crowd

Zhigang Li, 75, attends a garage sale at Sacred Earth Center Saturday Sept. 1 in Gainesville, Fla. The funds will help support the non-profit healing chapel.

Elizabeth Hamilton/Correspondent
Published: Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.

In this late summer heat, garage sales can seem unappealing. One local nonprofit, however, decided to counter this problem by holding its fundraising sale in the comfort of air conditioning.

The Sacred Earth Center held an indoor garage sale on Saturday at its chapel and healing center at 3131 NW 13th St. in order to raise funds for the center.

Set to open at 8 a.m., there were about 50 people waiting outside — some of whom had been there much earlier.

“It was packed at 7:15 (a.m.),” said Sharon O'Brien, one of the practitioners at the center. “We weren't even open yet.”

Shortly after opening, the center had already seen about 100 perusers, and organizers had made “a couple hundred bucks” — most of which was made in the first hour — according to David O'Brien, who co-founded the center with his wife, Sunemaura.

Inside the center, there were items both of a typical and spiritual nature.

Among the many household utilitarian goods and trinkets were also items such as crystals and minerals, which were being sold by Peggy Ray, who rented space for $20 from the center in order to sell her wares.

There were also paintings displayed on the walls by local artist Alayne Harris, whose work is also currently on display at the Harn Museum of Art at UF. The paintings were donated by a collector to help with fundraising for the center and will be on display at the center through September. In addition to Harris' work, there were also colorful stained-glass hangings provided by Crystal Fantasies, of Reddick.

The Sacred Earth Center offers an alternative spiritual community, according to Sunemaura O'Brien

“We offer spiritual community to people who don't feel drawn to a traditional religious community and our goals are to help people make a connection, a relationship, to the divine — whatever the divine is to them.”

The center's healers also try to help people establish a connection to the earth through exploration that occurs through ceremonies, experiences, classes, workshops and through one-on-one healings of body, mind and soul, according to Sunemaura O'Brien.

The center opened about six years ago with a single small unit. The center now has two units with four healing rooms.

“It unfolded and we just moved with it. It wasn't really setting (the) intention to have a healing center, it just kind of unfolded,” Sunemaura O'Brien said.

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