Monday 31 July 2017

Annual Paris Salon a huge success

Emmaus Paris Salon 2017

A team of companions from Emmaus communities in Colchester, Dover, Gloucestershire and Oxford recently visited Paris, to take part in the annual Emmaus Paris Salon.

Attended by over 130 Emmaus communities from across Europe, the Paris Salon is a huge sale that raises valuable money for Emmaus projects across the world.

This year the Salon sold an impressive €465,000 worth of goods. Paul, a companion at Emmaus Oxford, was on hand to tell us all about the trip:

“We set off from the community heading for Emmaus Dover early in the morning with two vans full to the brim with furniture and bric-a-brac. After a short drive we arrived, just in time for a lovely breakfast and to meet up with the other communities.

“After a smooth ferry crossing to Calais we set off on the three hour drive to Paris. Unfortunately for us we were greeted by the Friday rush hour traffic on the Boulevard Périphérique. We eventually got to the hotel and quickly freshened up before going out for something to eat. We found a lovely restaurant that served some beautiful food before returning to the hotel happy, but tired.

“Surprisingly we all woke up on time the following morning, excited about the day ahead. After a quick breakfast it was off to the Salon. One of the delights of the Paris Salon – this was my fourth – is to meet other Emmaus companions from all over the world.

“We spent around three hours setting up before I took a quick wander around to see some of the other stalls. The hall was huge and seemed to sell almost anything you could think of. I couldn’t wait for the Salon to start the following day.

“I spent most of my evening walking around the city centre, before enjoying another fantastic meal. I love Paris; it’s my favourite city. I was planning on exploring the catacombs, but I was too tired. Instead I went back to the hotel to get some well needed sleep ahead of the sale.

“Sale day arrived and the crowds built up quickly for what promised to be a busy day. At 9:30am a loud horn echoed around the hall; the tape was pulled down and the first horde of customers ran in. We had a great day, and didn’t stop until around 6:30pm in the evening. It was great to chat to the customers and dust off some of the rusty schoolboy French.

“All that was left was the small matter of cashing up, cleaning up and repacking any unsold pieces before setting off on the drive home. Before the Salon we agreed to donate all of our unsold items to Emmaus communities in Romania and Poland, which was fantastic.

“It was another successful Emmaus Paris Salon. I had an excellent time, the sense of comradery at the sale is truly wonderful and I would highly recommend it to anyone.”

The Emmaus Paris Salon is an annual solidarity sale that brings together Emmaus communities from across Europe. Money raised from the event is used to support projects across the world. The concept of solidarity, helping others less fortunate than yourself, is a central ethos of Emmaus and a motivation for all of the communities taking part.