Our annual dojo garage sale was started by my family last year as a fundraiser to help raise money towards purchasing new mats, and we have been quite successful at that goal. However I’ve realized that is only the beginning of the good we are doing. Hosting this sale has created a ripple effect, which is helping our community in many ways.
This year, with the promise of the money going to a good cause (and some physical labor on our part) we were able to help out a family who has struggled with hoarding issues. They provided us with many goods for the sale, and we helped free them of quite a burden. We are also doing good things for the planet by recycling, and saving usable items from the landfill.
Our customers at the sale reflect the location of our inner-city school. They are mainly low-income, from many different ethnicities, and some of them are new immigrants. There are many young families, disabled vets, and elderly, who are struggling to make it in this economy, and they truly appreciate the low cost of our goods. We could jack up the prices and we might make some more money, but it’s much more satisfying to see the look on their faces when they realize they can outfit themselves and their homes for such a reasonable price. We are getting these items to the people who need them the most. Even after the doors are closed on the sale, we still help the community by donating anything leftover to the People’s City Mission Distribution Center, which is just down the road from our school.
The friendships and good will we are forming with the people in our neighborhood are one of the best perks to come from a simple idea to raise a little money. It will be nice when we can afford to buy new mats, but that is far from the best thing we are accomplishing.