ESTEVAN — The Fresh Air Fitness Fundraising Garage Sale Facebook page was born out of quiet pandemic times, and since early 2021, it has been helping the not-for-profit with maintenance, growth and development.
Debby Knight, who runs Fresh Air Fitness alongside Peggy Rohatyn, said the idea to create a garage sale fundraising page solely belongs to Rohatyn.
"Peggy and I were out for a walk after Christmas 2020 and a whole year of being locked away and confined in our homes. And she said, 'You know, I want to clear some stuff out of my house,'" Knight recalled.
Since it was winter, running a real garage sale seemed like a hassle, so Rohatyn and Knight decided to create their own garage sale page, and use it to raise some funds for Fresh Air Fitness, while also helping themselves and others to declutter their homes.
"She said, 'I'm just going to set up a page on Facebook and post things and ask people to donate things. And it just took off like wildfire," Knight said.
The page started with a few things Rohatyn, Knight and some of their committee members had. Once they put the word out, a lot of people started reaching out to them to donate items to support Fresh Air Fitness. Many people also started purchasing items, which often come with great ideas for further use.
"We just had amazing community support with donating items for sale, as well as purchasing. So many people want to purchase this to support us. So it's been really a very huge success," Knight said. "Thanks to Peggy, she's got a very creative way of posting on the site. She could sell almost anything, I think. She just gets very creative with ideas to come up with."
All of the funds go directly to Fresh Air Fitness. In a year and a half, the page helped raise thousands of dollars for the outdoor gym. It allowed Knight and Rohatyn to run a series of free workshops, maintain and acquire equipment, and get larger projects accomplished, such as putting power into their shed.
If people want to donate something to be sold through the group, they can contact Knight or Rohatyn and drop things off, or they'll come out to collect them or get a seller and a buyer connected if it's a larger item.
"We've got a few different ways, usually [we try doing] whatever works the best for the person donating the items," Knight explained.
Many people forwarded their garage sale leftover items to Fresh Air Fitness, which Rohatyn and Knight would try selling through the group. And if something is a no-sell, they try finding some local not-for-profit that may find a use for it.
"There are certain items that we hang on to for so long, and if she can't seem to sell them, we will donate them. We took two big bags of towels and bedding down to the humane society. And we've donated several household items and books and just general things … to the Sunflower project and some things to the addiction centre at the hospital here in Estevan," shared Knight.
The lots available for sale can be viewed on the Fresh Air Fitness Fundraising Garage Sale Facebook page.
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Fresh Air Fitness finds a new way to raise funds – SaskToday.ca