Running a large-scale indoor public garage sale was a challenge this year, but one our volunteers were ready to face.

This year’s Riverview Community Centre garage sale had people lined up down a full bock in the morning, before being asked to wait in their cars. They waited for over an hour outside for a chance to be one of only eight allowed in the building at a time.

The sale was as big as ever, with items being collected as early as March in anticipation of a spring sale. After several concentrated months of donations, and a week of busy set up, the sale was ready to begin.

Every item was disinfected, and the hall was turned into a maze of tables to keep people moving one-way. The change rooms, where in past years clothes were on display, became an art and accessories room, and the lounge was filled with books as always.

Hall full of tables of items

The hall full of tables of garage sale goodies.

Leaflet, posters, and ads brought people from as far as the North End.

On October 17th, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 107 people managed to make it in. Volunteers coordinated through walkie-talkies to let one person in every time someone left. Payment was accepted from behind a plexiglass window, and this year the club even accepted credit and debit through Square.

Those left waiting in line were cheered by a generous donation of a full urn of hot coffee, free from Park Line Coffee on Osborne.

Kathy Larson was one of the leaders of the project, and she was amazed by the outpouring of support from volunteers, who were ready to drop everything and come help set-up at the drop of a hat.

She’s optimistic about next year’s sale too, already contemplating the possibility of an outdoor section. She also wants to make sure next year’s timeline sticks to a spring sale; things were a little chilly this time around.

Past sales have raised an average of four to five thousand dollars, but even under the toughest circumstances a garage sale could face, this time around the garage sale raised over $3500.

Kudos to all those who donated excellent household goods, garden and sports equipment, toys, CDs, DVDs, books, art and furniture – it’s clear that a lot of us have been cleaning out closets and storage spaces since March.

After over half a year of preparation, in half a week the centre was back to its old self, with the left-over items boxed up and distributed as follows:

– More than 1,000 children’s books went to Share the Magic, which donates books to northern Manitoba communities

– All the artworks are going to Grands-n-More for their fundraising program

– The pet supplies went to the Humane Society

– Siloam Mission received the jewellery

– The ReStore will get some building materials

– The tools are going to the Men’s Shed

– A local church was the recipient of a couple of boxes of mugs and cups

– Centre Flavie-Laurent will be collecting the furniture

– Salvation Army picked up the bulk of the leftover goods

We’d like to give a special thank you to our organizers Kathy Larson, Steven Lennon, and Cathy Land, and all the donors, volunteers, and staff who hauled in and sanitized hundreds of donations, sorted and priced the goods, delivered 1,580 notices to Riverview homes, helped set up, staff the sale, and later, take down and pack up the goods.

And of course, thank you to our community of shoppers who made this event possible. We can’t wait to see you all again next year.


The lounge full of books

The lounge full of books

Art and accessories in the change rooms

Art and accessories in the change rooms