How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ve got to clean this place out; I should have a yard sale.”
Then you look around and consider your location.
Perhaps it’s low traffic, out-of-the-way.
Perhaps you’re on a curve, and you worry about safety issues.
Perhaps it just seems like too much work for just a day or two.
If that is the case, Robin Dow of Searsmont has the solution for you.
Robin is director of the Vicky Morgan Foundation, which is hosting a series of Community Yard Sales on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in June and July, next to The Country Store Gift Shop on busy, high-traffic Route 3 in Searsmont.
Crafters, farmers market vendors and anyone who has something to sell is welcome to come and rent a space, which is available by donation.
“I don’t care what they put in the bucket,” Robin told me of a dollar amount to have a space to sell your wares or attic treasures. “Whatever they want to put in is fine.”
And you can come for one day, two days or three days; for one weekend or as many as you like. All you have to do is set yourself up with a table, maybe a pop-up tent, make a donation to the organization and you’re in business.
The Community Yard Sales are a way for people to learn about The Vicky Morgan Foundation, where it is located, and what it does, Robin said.
The Vicky Morgan Foundation operates year-round, adhering to its mission of “helping the people of Maine by assisting families and individuals faced with a sudden tragedy, ranging from fires to medical emergencies” and illnesses.
The site, Vicki explained, is next to her mother’s gift shop, and it is a great location.
“We figured we could put in 15 to 20” vendors, she said. “And it’s good traffic along there.
“In the summertime, it’s always buzzing with folks coming from Augusta to Belfast to Searsport” and beyond, to Down East Maine.
Robin said she doesn’t care what participants bring to sell.
“If they have farmers market items, that’s great.
“Maybe they want to sell baked goods. That’s great, too.
“It doesn’t matter. People just have to be responsible for cleaning up their site when they’re done.”
Robin will have hot dogs and sodas for sale for those who don’t want to bring their lunch but, she added, “they can also close up for a while and head up the road, or down the road, find a place to eat, then come back.”
The 501c3 organization was established in 2001 after the domestic violence shooting death of Vicky Morgan, who was the best friend of Robin’s daughter.
Robin established the foundation in Vicky’s memory to help Maine families and individuals who find themselves facing sudden tragedy.
Over the years, the small nonprofit has done relatively well offering assistance whenever and wherever it can.
In 2010, Robin said, the foundation gave out approximately $3,500 and, right now, “we’re down to bare bones” with just $500 available.
That is because the organization’s major fundraisers take place later in the year.
“So far, this year, we’ve given out about $500. That’s mostly gas cards, and we did have two house fires we helped with.”
Robin’s real hope is that this extended yard sale project will increase awareness of the Vicky Morgan Foundation, and get more people involved.
She also wants folks to mark their calendars for its Craft Fair and Dance Aug. 6, and its Cars of Yesteryear Show Aug. 7.
Another dance is planned for Aug. 13, and a 50-plus-mile Motorcycle Ride and Barbecue Aug. 14.
The organization’s major fundraiser is a Veterans Jamboree Nov. 6, and the fundraising ends with the Craft & Whatever End-of-Season Fair Dec. 10.
Most of these events take place or begin at the Searsmont Community Center on Route 131, and more information is always available by calling Robin at 342-3259.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; firstname.lastname@example.org; 990-8288.