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Northfield leads the country in its city-wide garage sale, with a twist

Posted by: John Ewoldt under Retail Updated: May 15, 2013 - 12:07 PM

 

Candy Taylor treats her garage sales as serious business. The Northfield resident explains why it's important for city-wide sale to have "anchors," just as a mall has Macy's or Kohl's. "You've got to bring in traffic," she said. But the anchors in Northfield's garage sales are Bethel Lutheran Church and a Montessori pre-school.

 

They fit in well in Northfield's charitable sale theme, where each participant must contribute 50 percent or more of the proceeds to charity. Taylor, who is organizing the sale through 5th Bridge charity, thinks it's the only city-wide sale in the country with such a required charitable component.

 

Many families contribute to the sale just because they know it's for a good cause, said Molly Woerlin of the TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) Program in Northfield, which helps low-income and Latino students stay in middle school and high school and orients students toward college. 

Each family and non-profit designates which charity its proceeds will go to and must donate at least 50 percent to the charity. "One family is choosing a suicide prevention program as its charity," said Taylor. Charities such as TORCH can choose themselves as a beneficiary if they want.

Taylor acknowledges that some families may not want to participate if they need a fundraiser of their own. "We recognize a lot of young families need to sell baby stuff to feed the school clothes budget in the fall," she said.   

This is the 6th year for the sale and nearly 30 sites, including homes and nonprofits, will be participating. last year the sale raised about $14,500. Unsold leftovers can be donated to the Community Action Center and Northfield Senior Citizens. What they can't sell will be donated or sold to St. Vincent de Paul. 

The sale is held rain or shine from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, 2013. 

 

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