Pay It Forward by Giving Back

We just had a huge garage sale this past weekend. It was very successful in many ways. We made money, we got to visit with some old friends and make some new ones, and we cleaned out all the things we do not want to move.

At the end of our sale, a young lady arrived and looked around carefully. She finally said, “I see lots of things I like but I need to go home and get some money.”

My husband said to her, “why do you need money?”

You know her response. But, my husband said, “look the sale is almost over. You can have anything you want – for FREE. It is all going to be donated tomorrow anyway.” Honestly, she was so dumbfounded that her mouth gaped open!

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

“Really????” she said. Really was our reply.

She left about an hour later with books, a file cabinet, a couple of games, a ball cap that said Hawaii, and I don’t know what else. She was 26 and new to the insurance business. But, she used to be an early childhood educator. (Do you see an issue here? I’ll save that for another post.)

We helped this young lady and in return, she promised us some cherries off of her parents’ trees that grow up the road.

Many people got deals at our sale, not just this one young lady.

We rounded down a lot. Books went, games went, dishes went, as well as my grandma’s 1969 sewing machine, and Martha Washington cabinet. The sewing machine sale is also a sweet story. It came with a cabinet and embroidery cams, several zipper feet, and a gathering attachment. It had a foot pedal and a thigh pedal for operation. Best of all, it still worked admirably. The last things I made on this machine were a national parks quilt, some reusable market bags, roman shades for our cabin, AND over 500 triple layered masks for COVID-19 virus protection. I used it well. It was time to pass it on.

So, without looking into its worth, I marked $75.00 on it. Then, on the second day of our sale, a young woman with her husband and three children aged 6 months to 4 years asked about the machine. I gave her a primer. She told me about her interest in sewing and that she had been doing it since she was six! Her mom taught her as my grandma (and, sometimes my mom) taught me. This would be a second machine for her as she has a new Husqvarna Viking But, she and I both agreed that sewing machines are not made like they used to be. The machine I was selling was enameled iron. She liked the sturdiness of it and I told her without lying that it was a solid machine. My grandma had made most of my clothes when I was growing up, which included everything from swimsuits to winter coats, on this machine. The last significant thing she made for me was the bridesmaids’ dresses for my wedding, thirty-five years ago next month. They were made on the machine I was selling to another seamstress!

I was so thrilled that someone who knew how to sew and was enamored of the machine before even using it wanted to buy it. I took $25.00 off and she got the sewing machine, cabinet, and chair for fifty dollars. It made my day!

Our giving didn’t start with our garage sale. During the last two months, hundreds of books have been given away. A couple hundred went to the local community center, another fifty or so went to a local teacher – these were series books. And, a few went to a friend for her little free library.

So many people stopped by to wish us well. A friend who has a son the same age as my oldest bought his keyboard, one of my nature photographs, and our bread machine. It was a way she could honor our family and was thrilled to have pieces from us, especially the keyboard. It was the sweetest!

Friends have been gifted breadboards. Others have taken stuff for their kids or classrooms. We wanted them to have the things we gave. Having the sale has been a great way to clean out but also spread a little good karma. Do unto others as you would have them do to you, the “golden rule.” We do try to live by it. And by doing so, we are paying forward so that others remember and give back in the same manner in the future. It works.

3 thoughts

  1. Wonderful! Your garage sale was a success in many ways. I remember when we had a garage sale a long time ago, we also gave things away. I remember two elderly women came toward the end and they wanted to buy all the rest of our children’s books to send to native tribe out west. One of them talked about how much it would cost them to ship the books. I told them I would donate all the rest of the books. It made all of us happy.


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