Bargain hunters and garage sale enthusiasts made sure not to miss out on the first CanAssist event of the year at the Parkes Showground last weekend.
People started streaming to the pavilions housing thousands of household items and furniture from Friday afternoon to fill a box for only $5. CanAssist Parkes started the garage sales to raise funds and ten years later the monthly event has not only become the group’s major source of income, but it has also become known around the region. “People travel from all over to come to our garage sales,” said President of CanAssist Parkes, Sylvia Glendenning.
Sylvia was very happy with the first sale of the year. “I did not expect so many people to turn up on Friday. The furniture side did very well.”
The garage sales started up again in November last year after COVID regulations eased, but the group suffered another blow early this year with the super cell storm on 2nd January when over 100mm of rain fell accompanied with high winds causing significant damage in Parkes.
“The pavilion floor was covered in mud and we had lost some items,” said Sylvia. “We then had to wait for the mud to dry before it could be vacuumed and swept.” After the clean-up everything else was covered in dust and they had to hand wash and dry every single item of crockery and glass ware. “It took us several weeks to get ready for the first sale.”
CanAssist has between 16 to 20 volun-teers who help out with the garage sales from picking up donations to unpacking and sorting out items and helping out at the actual events. “The income generated by the sales help to boost funds significantly,” said Sylvia. “We would not be able to help people in Parkes to the extend that we do without these funds.”
Sylvia said the group currently assisted 100 people with cancer, while they had about 200 people on their books. All the funds raised in Parkes go to assist people from Parkes.
There are 56 CanAssist groups in NSW, and according to Treasurer Adrienne Brown, Parkes is the only group putting on a regular garage sale to raise funds, let alone such a huge event. People at the sale commented that the vast variety on offer made it a fantastic place to find real bargains and hard to find items.
Adrienne is not sure where the idea came from, but said it just happened and had evolved into one of the biggest garage sales in the region.
The garage sales not only offer people the opportunity to find much needed items at bargain prices, but also play a major role in keeping thousands of items out of landfill. CanAssist accepts all donations of household items. “We just don’t take clothes and shoes, no stoves, and need to be careful with electrical items.”
Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact Adrienne on 0412 777 134.
By Maggi Barnard