Last year, the Super Karate Monkeys held three team fundraising events – a board games night, 60 Seconds to Claim Victory (a blatant rip-off of Minute to Win It) and a garage sale.

We’ll tell you more about the board games night and 60 Seconds in future posts but for now I want to share what for me is the most wonderful time of the year – the garage sale.

Throughout the year, each of us reminds our family and friends to not throw anything out. And we mean ANYTHING. You may think that nobody wants a hollowed out coconut with a goofy smile painted on and googly eyes, but that just may become our featured item, displayed prominently in our “impulse buy” section while we loudly converse on the merits of having a coconut head in one’s house.

A few weeks before the sale the Monkeys gather up items that have been put aside for us. I liken this process to visiting the relatives around the holidays. Stop in for a cup of tea, get the scoop on what’s happened during the year, and then leave with a box of goodies.

The morning of the sale we bring everything out of the garage and start unwrapping. Most of the items have been packed away in boxes when they are donated so this is when we get to see them for the first time. I get quite excited, not only with the opening of the boxes, but also with guessing who it is from. The more strange and eccentric items are almost always from my father.

We try to set up different sections to make it easier for our customers to find items. Electronics are always a big hit as are books and toys. The centerpiece in our garage sale is our special front room display. We usually have enough furniture to set up a very inviting living room, complete with side tables, lamps, throw pillows and candles. If you’re able to suspend a sizeable portion of disbelief, it may feel as if you’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting.

The garage sale is held at Rose’s house and over the years we have gotten to know her neighbours pretty well. Some pop by about once an hour under the pretense of checking how we’re doing but, in actuality, looking to see if any more treasures have been unearthed as we continue unpacking boxes. Others come by to donate items and end up purchasing a few as well.

At the end of the day we’re all exhausted and there’s a lot of cleaning up to do (it does sound like Christmas) but we’ve also had a lot of fun and raised money for a great cause.