Neighborhoods looking for a boost from garage sales

It’s garage sale season and with money on the minds of many, sale organizers are hoping for more treasures and hunters this year.

One neighborhood was banking on it.

“Recession got you tightening your belt?” and “Rummage like it’s 1932” were expressions on a flyer for the Stevens Square Community Organization’s (SSCO) annual rummage sale April 18-19. The admission fee for shoppers was $2, and the proceeds went to neighborhood arts, greening, safety and outreach programs.

“It’s going to be an incredibly tough year for nonprofits,” said Steven Gallagher, executive director of SSCO. “There just isn’t enough funding to go around. To maintain our current level of programming, we’ll be depending heavily on the proceeds from the rummage sale and our other fundraising events. There’s a lot riding on it.”

Coordinators of the rummage sale were optimistic and pleased with the results of the sale. Donations to SSCO, which were accepted during the weekend, were about the same as previous years, but sales were up, according to Linda Ferris, chair of the rummage sale committee.

“The turnout is about the same, but more people are buying things,” Ferris said during the sale.

Books were a popular donation item, Ferris said. Other donations included silverware, furniture, art, toys, jewelry and clothing. The Van Dusen Event Center was filled with people digging through items to find deals.

“It’s a good way to make some money and get some cool stuff for cheap,” said Stephen Hays, a shopper at the sale. “I bought this book for 25 cents.”

The SSCO also held a raffle at the rummage sale.

“It was because of the economy issue, and it’s something we’ve never done before,” Ferris said. Shoppers could pay a dollar and get a chance to win a $100 value. Many people participated, Ferris said.

The raffle winnings were gift certificates to local businesses, which were much more involved in the sale than in previous years, Ferris said. Kowalski’s, Lunds and Rainbow were among the participants.

It’s not too late to hit up the rummage sale circuit. Here’s a list of southwest sales still to come, from earliest to latest:

Bryn Mawr Festival of Garage Sales
The Bryn Mawr neighborhood’s annual sale will be May 2–3, from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Those wishing to participate can register at, and there is a nominal fee of $10 this year. Directories and maps of participating homes will be available on the website the Thursday before the sale, and also around the neighborhood on the days of the sale.

CARAG Super Sale
The annual garage sale will be May 16th this year, from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. There is a $10 fee to participate due by May 13th. For registration and tips on how to make your items sell, go online at

Kenny and Armatage Garage Sale
On May 23, the Kenny and Armatage neighborhoods will combine forces to host their garage sale. It will be from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. To participate, visit

East Harriet Sale-O-Rama 2009
From 9 a.m.–3 p.m. May 30, people in the East Harriet neighborhood will participate in their annual garage and yard sale. If you want to sign up, go online to get a registration form at or call 612-824-9350. Maps of participating households and key items will be handed out the day of the sale.

37th Annual ECCO Super Sale
The longstanding ECCO Super Sale will be on June 6, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. It costs $5 to participate, and proceeds go to neighborhood costs. All homes in the area are encouraged to participate. Customer maps and a lawn sign should be picked up on Friday, June 5th at 3505 Humboldt Avenue, those with questions can go to the ECCO website at

Lowry Hill East
On the same day as its ice cream social, June 20th, the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association will host a garage sale. More information will be available at at a later date.

Kingfield will not be hosting their annual rummage sale, but encourages neighborhood residents to get in touch with the board if they would like to see a sale in the summer or fall. Contact information is at