By Taylor Boyd
The Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County will hold its first ever Spring Bargain Fair on April 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 242 Franklin St., Martinsville.
Kara Gilley, president of league, said the event is “like a big, indoor yard sale,” and will be like the annual Bargain Fair held by the group in October.
Gilley said the organization has been holding the fairs since 1969, but “this is our first spring sale ever. This will be our 53rd Bargain Fair, but it is our 52nd year of doing it. We’ll do another one in October as well.”
Proceeds from the event benefit youngsters in Martinsville and Henry County, she said.
“Because of COVID, we have not been able to do our regular gala that we do each year in person. So, we were trying to find a different way we could fundraise and still be protecting ourselves against COVID and protecting our members, and also the community,” she said, adding several other non-profit agencies also are trying to find creative and safe ways to fundraise during the pandemic.
The Charity League had a lot of items at its warehouse and realized there were enough to hold a sale, she said.
“If we waited until October, we would have more than just this. So, we thought, ‘why don’t we do some more public drop-offs and see if anyone wants to donate,’ because a lot of people are cleaning out their houses and are sitting at home and going through stuff.
“We had a lot of public drop offs and the community came and donated, and we ended up with a full warehouse so we were like, we could have another sale,” Gilley said.
Generally, it takes a lot of work to prepare for the annual fall fair, but the group decided to “just see if we can just make this happen,” she said, and explained the organization’s warehouse was largely already set up to hold the event.
“Even if we raised $5,000 to $6,000, that’s great to us. I mean, on a usual year we raise $13,000 in one day,” she said.
Pre-COVID-19, she said 300-500 attended the fall event. Last October, the fair attracted an estimated 300 shoppers and raised about $7,000.
“People get excited about this sale because we usually have some many different kinds of items and we also usually have some name brand items and just really good deals,” she said, and added the April 10 Bargain Fair will include sporting goods, furniture, books, home goods, holiday items, children’s toys, and clothes for the whole family.
“We also have a treasure section that is a lot of antique items or things that might be worth a little bit more than what you would pay at a yard sale,” she said.
A $5 bag sale will be held during the final hour of the sale. Participating shoppers will receive a brown bag and may fill it up for $5.
“Whatever’s in it, it does not matter. Anything in this warehouse,” she said.
Random sales also are scheduled to be held throughout the day.
“We usually do good deals the day of to get people buying them,” she said.
The event will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Anyone who enters must wear a mask the entire time and remain 6-feet apart from others at all times.
Gilley said there would also be a person limit of 50-75 shoppers allowed in the building at a time and temperature checks will be done at the door.