MERIDEN — The Unitarian Universalist Church tag sale was buzzing well before the event started at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
There was a steady flow of customers until it ended at 2 p.m. The outdoor event was the first church in-person function since its doors closed on March 15.
The Paddock Avenue church streams weekly online services at 10:30 a.m. Saturday’s tag sale is one of their biggest fundraiser's of the year, especially with the cancellation of the Daffodil Festival.
Board of Trustees President Jane Dioguardi said it was good to see everyone again.
“We thought it was safe to do it outside,” Dioguardi said. “We required everyone to wear masks. Even though it is outside, we wanted it to be safe.”
The money raised will go to paying the minister, mortgage, utilities and to various church causes.
Since the pandemic, the UUC received a United Way grant to help support undocumented immigrants in Meriden who were laid off and don’t qualify for government benefits.
“They have to feed their children and have to pay their rent and water bill,” Donna Stimpson, a UUC member and a past president of the Board of Trustees said. “We are looking into other grant opportunities.”
Dioguardi said the church welcomes all. The have members who are Buddhist, Christian, agnostic and atheist.
“It’s a church for free thinkers,” Dioguardi said. “Our church works with a lot of liberal social justice issues. We support the LGBTQ community.”
The church also marched with Black Lives Matter earlier this summer in Meriden.
On Saturday, it was about raising money for the church. The UUC moved to Paddock Avenue in 2005 and have a 6.5-acre property the includes a Spiral Garden in the back of the property.