Last year, Central City Austin Church hosted a Garage Sale for Orphans Party.  They loved it so much, they are doing it again in 2014!  We asked Chantel Ortiz, the organizer, if she would answer a few questions about their experience.

HON:  Why did you choose GS4O and what project did you fund?

Chantel:  We chose GS4O because we love the way Help One Now operates… working with local leaders and organizations already doing great work in those areas of need.  Often times we can see something like human trafficking, extreme poverty, and the need for clean water and get completely overwhelmed.  This allows people to help by using what is already in their hands — or closets, attics & garages — and actually make a difference.

HON:  As you look back, what was the most unexpected surprise?

Chantel:  Call me a garage sale rookie, but it turns out people are going to show up the second you have items out.  We were barely getting things set out around 6:15am and before we knew it, we had a crowd!  We already had a lot of stuff sold before the actual start time.  We promoted on facebook, twitter and local garage sale websites, and it worked!

HON:  Will you be doing it again this year? If so, what will you do differently?

Chantel:  We are set for our second GS4O in April.  We can’t wait!  We will communicate pricing more effectively.  Unless you have a ton of help, have people price what they donate beforehand.  It can get a little hectic with things coming in from everywhere.  Also, it’s a fundraiser, so don’t shoot too low on the prices.

AND, while we had information set out last year, this year we will have Help One Now info and info about our local church more accessible for everyone.

HON:  What are the top three things you want someone to know from your experience who is doing this for the first time?

Chantel:

1. People want to help…whether they are in your church, neighborhood, or garage sale regulars. Have information available. Make sure they know what the money they spent is going to serve.

2. Get your people involved. Small group, neighborhood, church, kids, teenagers…get them all involved. Our kids can sell lemonade to anyone…let them play a part on that day.

3. Have fun and be creative. Make it an event to remember (not just a sale) for your neighborhood or church community. We hit the ground running that morning and didn’t stop.


If you’re interested in hosting a Garage Sale for Orphans and could use some inspiration with getting started, check out this video that Central City Austin created to activate their own tribe on their next GS4O.