A little over a week ago I helped with a fundraising yard sale for my beautiful niece, Mercydez. We organized a yard/bake sale fundraiser. I won't lie, I was terrified. I have never held a yard sale, I've never been to a bake sale, and I've never actively participated in a fundraiser. I was completely new to this and I was scared to death that my ingorance would hurt, not help. Two weeks before the date of the fundraiser the ladies and I were running around like chickens with their heads cut off! I felt like my life was spinning out of control, after all, I'd never done anything like this before! Was it supposed to be this crazy?!?!?
We spent hours and hours...nights and nights...sorting through donated items. Our two-car-garage was FULL of bags and boxes! We used a spare bedroom as our "sorting room" and went to town each night. I was very emotional during it all. The love and support these women have for my niece was overwhelming to me. I would catch myself watching them thinking, "They are such good people. Why do they care so much? They have families and needs of their own...why are they doing this for us?!!" Even now I'm awed. I can't believe the time they put into this. I'm so grateful they extended the invitation to help. I learned so much from these women.
The night before the yard/bake sale we were seriously losing our minds! We were so excited but SO exhausted. We had been working so hard for this and the time had finally arrived. Many people showed up to help set up, and we were thrilled about it. We had truck loads (notice loads is plural!) of people dropping stuff off until about midnight. Some people from the community came by (annonymously) and dropped off donations. Needless to say, we had WAY more than we originally planned. Had people not shown up to help sort & set up we would have been in serious trouble.
And! Get this! My mom and Ashley had spent the entire day baking treats for the bake sale! I didn't realize how much cooking they'd done until I got home and saw the kitchen. WOW! They really went at it! I also found out Crystal helped Ashley finish cooking, since my mom was helping set up, until about 1:00am. I'm so thankful for family!
Around 2:00am volunteers started heading home. We were (and still are) so grateful to them for sacrificing their friday evening to help us. My wonderful husband stayed with me ALL night and helped finish the set up. I was also incredibly grateful for Auriel, Kacey, Crystal, Luke (Nic's brother), and Sam (Nic's niece) for staying up all night and helping hang up signs (yeah! We realized we hadn't hung signs around 11:00pm!!! We were too busy doing everything else!). The seven of us stayed up all night and all day saturday. Needless to say, by the end of the yard sale we all looked like crap. Trav's eyes were SO blood-shot. And all of us were feeling the weight of staying up all night..in our limbs. By 5:30am Trav and I still had plenty to sort and price, so we decided to hang up signs everywhere that said,
All clothing = $0.50
All items w/o price tags = $0.50
We were a little worried we'd lose money by doing it this way but we didn't have time to price anything else. Trav did a quick walk through and checked items that caught his eye to make sure it was priced. I'll tell you, looking back, I think we were inspired to do it that way. It saved us! We were able to focus the last hour on sorting and organizing so things were ready to go.
The yard/bake sale didn't start until 7:00 but we had people showing up at 6:30 ready to look for treasures (and we had a lot to look through!). There was one car that came into the parking lot SO FAST they literally caught air. I was thinking to myself, "Holy crap!". Two of my closest friends (and a wonderful husband to one of them) helped us until about 1:30am and came back at 6:30am to help with the sale. I was so relieved to see them at that point. My energy level was so low and I was feeling so tired I about collapsed with joy (literally) when I saw them. Thank you Alysson, Angel, and Bryan.
By 7:15 things were CRAZY. The parking lot was full of about 50 cars or more! Although we were dead tired this sight was a huge relief because we didn't hold the yard sale at the most ideal location. We were worried people wouldn't come since it was out of the way. Things didn't slow down either! At noon there were just as many people shopping as there was at 7:30. I couldn't believe it!
The bake sale was awesome too! We had people donate coookies, brownies, home-made bread, and SO MUCH MORE! We also sold snow-cones, hot dogs, drinks, and authentic (made when ordered) indian bread (like a scone). It was insane. I cried the entire day. Many former employees showed up to volunteer and help with selling, cooking, cleaning, setting up (obviously not in that order...but you get the idea)! One former employee of Ashley's named Susan showed up and cooked the indian bread all day long. Susan provided everything - AND stood in the sun all day (it was in the 90's) over a hot stove and cooked. PEOPLE ARE SO GOOD.
Another former employee, Jenny, not only helped organize the yard/bake sale (without being asked she just jumped in head first and helped!!) but she showed up with everything for snow cones and she and her kids made snow cones all day! I ate a few of them and they were sooooo good and refreshing!!
My Grandparents showed up and helped in what ever way they could. My Grandma cooked hot dogs all day and never complained. She's been so supportive and helpful since day one. Thank you Grandma.
All day, during the yard sale, my dad was on the phone with radio stations. The DJ's would interview him and play the interview on air through out the day. Thanks to KUBL 93.3 and all the other stations who helped support us in this cause.
My mom was inspired to go to The Daily Herald a few days before the sale and spoke with a reporter, Ace Stryker (I believe). Ace was very interested in the story of Nic, Ash, & Mercydez and interviewed them. The story ran FRONT PAGE on Friday August 22, THE DAY BEFORE THE YARD SALE! How grateful I am that my mom was inspired and followed the promptings to go to the local/county paper and share our story with a stranger. Ace did a phenomenal job with the story. He actually called me and interviewed me as well. I just cried and cried while I told him about my precious niece. I love Mercydez so much. I think Ace regretted interviewing me, at one point, because I couldn't stop talking and crying.
Needless to say, things fell into place in an miraculous way. When things were over we were all beat. Christy, the one who started the fundraiser, was so sun burned she was swollen for days. Michelle, another woman who donated a lot of time and energy organizing and working the sale, brought her children and they helped all day. One of her daughters, Kate, helped at the cash register and was so cute! I let her add up each persons expenses...it was great! All the kids wanted to help.
I could go on and on and on. I have so much more faith in people. I have so much more respect for people. I have so much more compassion for people. Thank you to all who helped in ANY way. It was a huge success. It was a modern day miracle.
God bless you all.