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N.B. weekend yard sale spills over into Monday, Tuesday in support of good cause


Earl Kervin’s driveway on 34 Grindstone Drive in Riverview, N.B., was filled with items looking to find a new home on Monday.

It’s all part of a yard sale fundraiser in support of the Salisbury Helping Hands Inc. Food Bank, which saw so many donations, Kervin decided to keep it going on both Monday and Tuesday.

“After the sale on Saturday, we probably only sold half at best, so we have a lot of stuff left and we just want to see it go and raise as much money for the Helping Hands Food Bank as possible,” said Kervin. “We know that food insecurity is here to stay, unfortunately, so we just want to do our best to help them out. I know it’s only a drop in the bucket, but a lot of drops add up eventually,” he added.

Originally, the yard sale took place on Saturday and raised nearly $2,000.

There are no prices listed on the items; instead it’s up to the buyer to make a donation with which they are comfortable.

“Some people are just donating cash even though they’re not yard sale fans. They’ll come by and say, ‘Hey, this is a good cause and we want to support the food bank or the community,’ so they’ve been very generous. Just the outpour has been very encouraging and we’re just thrilled,” he said.

This year’s yard sale was a team effort with help from Five Points Baptist Church in Salisbury, which Kervin attends, and community members.

He estimates 40-to-50 people dropped off donations and contributed on Saturday to help make it a success.

Over the past six or seven years, Kervin says he’s done a number of yard sales in support of different charities or organizations — including Teen Challenge in New Brunswick — but this is the first year the proceeds will go towards the local food bank.

“It feels great, you know, we’re a non-profit and we depend totally on donations to run our food bank,” said Laurie Steward, president of Salisbury Helping Hands Inc. Food Bank. “Unlike other food banks that have clothing depots and have an income, we have none. We depend totally on donations from the village, from people, and we have great, great people supporting us.”

Stewart says they are now feeding the working poor and more seniors, plus he says in the past year food prices have increased 15 per cent.

“Grocery prices, as you know, are skyrocketing. I do the purchasing here. Things that I was paying $1.98 for has doubled in the last less than a year,” he said. “We spend over $2,000 a month ourselves, beside what comes with us from FDA (Food Depot Alimentaire) warehouse.”

Stewart says he didn’t expect the yard sale to make such a large donation and the final total isn’t even in yet.

On Monday, people could fill their trunk for $10 or fill their truck for $20.

“There’s a ripple effect because what happens afterwards is people become aware of either the food bank or whatever charity we’re working with and then they end up supporting them long-term, so the yard sale is the beginning and there’s by-products from that and we’re so pleased about that,” said Kervin.

The hope is to sell as many items as possible, resulting in a bigger donation for the food bank.

“This is amazing and the people who put it on, for them to donate everything back to us is amazing,” said Stewart.

On Monday morning, Kervin’s garage was still full and even with rain on the forecast Tuesday, he plans to keep it open inside the garage for people to check out. Both days the sale is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“We had one person that was cleaning out a pharmacy and they had all sorts of display cases and unique stuff, we had tons of books, nice pottery and just paintings, you name it and we had it, we could have opened up a small Walmart here,” he joked.

Kervin says they have donated leftover items to the Salvation Army following past yard sales and he hopes to do that again this year so that they don’t go to waste.

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