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Oakland White Elephant Sale Goes Virtual for the First Time in its 62-year History, May 1–23, 2021

(OAKLAND, CA) March 16, 2021The 62nd Annual White Elephant Sale (WES), a Bay Area tradition and the largest rummage sale in Northern California, returns for three weeks, starting Saturday, May 1 at 8 am and ending Sunday, May 23 at 6 pm. This is the first year the Sale itself will take place entirely online due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White Elephant Sale, organized and presented by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, is the biggest annual fundraising event benefiting the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). For the past six years, the Sale has raised over $1 Million each year to support OMCA’s programming and exhibitions. This year, the Sale returns on a smaller scale with a selection of high-quality donated items to be sold on the newly-created online store.

The Museum has remained closed to the public since March 13, 2020, resulting in a loss of more than $3 million in earned revenue over the past year. With a reopening date to be scheduled some time this spring, the annual White Elephant Sale fundraiser remains crucial as a revenue source to support OMCA’s financial sustainability.

In response to the pandemic, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board tailored this year’s Sale to comply with the current safety protocols. Shoppers will be able to purchase items online from the comfort and safety of their homes, and schedule pickup for their items at the White Elephant Sale warehouse located on 333 Lancaster Street in Oakland. Shipping is not available due to volunteer capacity and safety constraints. 

Over the three week period, a range of quality used goods, including furniture, artwork, household items, ceramics, sporting goods, fine jewelry, collectibles, music, books, and vintage and contemporary apparel, will be sold online. The event is made possible by donations from the public and with the help of volunteers. 

“This year, we (the Women’s Board) challenged ourselves to carry forth the tradition and our commitment to supporting OMCA, while also creating a new online shopping experience for our returning and first-time White Elephant Sale customers,” said Sherry Westernoff, Oakland Museum Women’s Board President. “I’m so proud of our Board and our volunteers for their commitment under these extraordinary circumstances. It was a true team effort.”

“In a time of uncertainty, we are so grateful to the Oakland Museum Women’s Board for their continued dedication to raising funds for the Oakland Museum of California, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lori Fogarty, OMCA Director and CEO. “They demonstrate the best of philanthropy and community support: that a group of dedicated people can make a lasting impact year over year.”

To shop online, visit:


Donations of gently used good quality items are accepted on select days throughout the year. For free van pickup call 510-839-5919. Visit for donation information and a list of items that cannot be accepted.


The sole purpose of the Oakland Museum Women’s Board (OMWB), a dedicated group with 114 year-round members, has been to raise money to support the Oakland Museum of California acquisitions, exhibitions, educational programs, capital improvements, and more. Since 1959, the OMWB has contributed over $27 million to the Museum. With the help of a thousand dedicated volunteers, they work year-round to organize and present the White Elephant Sale held annually during the first weekend in March which attracts shoppers from the Bay Area and beyond.




The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with the first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.