Yard Sales

You would have heard of the ‘100 Things Idea’ by Dave Bruno, where people strive to live with just a 100 things. So what if this #DaanUtsav, people could be encouraged to give up 100 things they own? Watch this video of #DaanUtsav celebrations in 2013, at Abacus Montessori School, Chennai, where children experienced living with less, giving up and perhaps then experience giving to someone who is less privileged.

This is the simple idea of a yard sale, where people give away extra items that they have in their homes to be sold at the market. You can do this at multiple locations – schools, colleges, corporate lobbies, etc. The beauty of the yard sale is that almost any item can be brought – books, toys, kitchen utensils, bedsheets, footwear, accessories, bags, suitcases, furniture – and these are just a few examples!

How can you organise a yard sale?

  • You could start with a campaign to disseminate information on the sale – usually one week in advance, with reminders being sent once or twice.
  • Materials are brought in by the volunteers, and you can ask them to stay back after school/work on two or three days before the day of the sale, and sort the stuff out.
  • You can categorise them under different prices, where items that volunteers think are worth a certain amount are clubbed together (the maximum amount could be about Rs 200).

On the day of the sale…

You could give the buyers a Rs. 5 token to enter the market. People then walk around the length of the store and buy whatever they need at the amount/prices mentioned – no bargaining allowed! All monies raised including the Rs 5 per token goes to charity. You may also encourage the buyers to further donate the items they have bought – so a box maybe kept where toys and books could be bought and given away – this leverages the giving twice over. Another idea could be to get sellers could start to “auction” popular but limited items.

An Interesting Twist: Street Store

Taking from this idea, you may also want to explore how a ‘street store’ can be created. After creating the store, you could open it out to underprivileged people. They are allowed to browse a selection of clothing and other apparel donated by people in the city, and pick whatever they need. In 2014, Bhubaneshwar saw India’s first ever Street Store, organised by Radio Choklate.

An overwhelming number of people drop into what is known in the charity circles as the ‘world’s first rent-free, premises-free’ pop-up clothing store. CMC Vellore also hosted their addition of the Street Store, as a part of #DaanUtsav celebrations in the year 2015. Click here to know more about the street store.