For those of you that like to skip ahead to the end of a book to find out how the story ends, the total amount raised at our sale is in the last paragraph. For the rule followers like myself, continue reading to get the entire story. 🙂
We knew when we decided to pursue the purchase of a diabetic alert dog that we would need to ask for financial help from our friends and family. But one of our goals in raising money for our diabetic alert dog is to do more than just sit back and ask for money. We want to teach our kids that it is ok to ask for help in this way as long as they are willing to contribute with hard work.
Three weeks ago I asked our friends and family if they would be willing to let us have any items they no longer need. We would then put those items in a yard sale to raise money for our service dog. The response was incredible! The kids worked hard cleaning, scrubbing, dusting, pricing, and packing items for the sale. We filled our two stall garage and three trailers with donated items. Our front yard was also filled with an aluminum boat with trailer, canoe, paddle boat, nine bikes and more! My mom, aunt and a friend also provided baked goods for our sale. My mom outdid herself by baking a total of 38 loaves of bread in addition to a variety of brown breads, muffins and homemade blackberry jam.
Our house is located on a rural, gravel, country road about a mile and a half from a busy main road. While we love our location and quiet country living, it is not an ideal location for a sale. Joci works at an Alpaca farm located on the main road with a beautiful, open, grassy area on the corner. The owner of the farm was generous enough to let us set up our sale on her property.
As the first day of the sale approached we were carefully monitoring the weather forecast. It was not looking promising. We knew we would never be able to hold a sale with this many items in the rain. Within three hours of asking if anyone had canopy tents we could borrow we had four tents, including a large 20′ by 50′ event tent from a local church. AMAZING! The morning of the sale my dad, mom, youngest sister, daughter, Jim and myself started unloading trailers and setting up at 4am. By 4:30am it was raining. At 5am there was thunder and lightening. At 6am it was still raining . . . . . . . hard. We did our best to set up items under the tents but we had so many items there was no way it would all fit under the tents. We were like wet rats in a maze of boxes, tubs and furniture trying to catch the drips and sop up the water blowing in on the tables. I was praying the whole time asking God to please stop the rain. By 7am the rain had let up and by 8 am we were able to move the large items out to the lawn.
Then it got busy . . . . . . . really busy. We had a steady stream of people stopping at our sale all day. Since the sale was to benefit our three children with diabetes I let them skip school to help with the sale. Joci and Brady did a great job of collecting money and giving change while explaining to people the reason for our sale. We met others that have also been touched by this terrible disease and listened to their stories of triumph and tragedy while living with type 1 diabetes.
There were so many incredible things that happened during our sale I do not think I can share them all in one post. If you will permit me, I would like to share at least one. On the second day of the sale the husband of a woman that had previously donated a generous amount of items stopped by with some more items to add to the sale, including some electronics. About an hour later a man was interested in one of the electronic items and asked me if we had an outlet available to make sure it worked. I walked with him around the outside of the locked farmhouse to look for an outlet but there were none. Even though I was confident the item worked I told the man that if he got home with the item and found it did not work I would gladly refund his money. As Brady helped him checkout he patiently listened to Brady explain the reason for our sale and even asked Brady a few more questions about the service dog. A little while later he returned and my heart sank because I was embarrassed that the item we sold him did not work. As he approached with a box he said, “I was so moved by the reason for your sale I went home and gathered some items I’d like to donate as well. Oh and by the way the item I bought worked great!” He then proceeded to lay the items out on a table for display. I do not remember exactly what I said in return but I thanked him profusely and then he went on his way. The very next person that came to the sale bought some of the items that man donated!
The entire two day sale was filled with encouraging and generous encounters like this. Maybe this sounds weird but I cannot wait to sit down and write thank you notes to as many people as possible. It will force me to slow down and reflect on each and every person and how they have blessed us. Our puppy project is about more than money. It has become a way to connect with old and new friends while being reminded that we are not alone in this battle against a disease that never lets up.
Now for those of you that are dying to know the results of of our sale . . . . . . . . . . . . . in total we raised $7,294! That amount combined with earlier contributions has brought us 1/3 of the way to our goal (and our puppy isn’t even born yet)!! If you donated, volunteered, shopped, prayed or shared our sale THANK YOU! If you are reading about our plan to purchase a diabetic alert dog for the first time and would like to learn more you can click here.