Abolitionist Vegans for Peace

September ARRNT Benefit Yields Results!

Every benefit or garage sale is a learning experience with its own set of lessons. Our first benefit put us under a hot, hot sun with high winds blowing all our literature and sale items all over the place. Our signage was likewise under siege and some of the arrows were pointing to odd places, as if the garage sale was taking place at the public school or in the middle of the freeway. Items were placed at fair value, too, rather than garage sale value. Live and learn.

This time, we had more secure signage, better weather, and all items were repriced very low to avoid discussing pricing. The signage blew facedown after the first few hours, unknown to us, but the weather gods were kinder this time – hot, yes, but only a gentle breeze to help us survive the day. There were many, many more customers – possibly the Craigslisting helped a bit there. We also had a wider variety of items because they came from several sources; sold more of the items offered; and brought in almost 50% more funds.

Lessons learned:

  1. Signage should be secured with bags of rocks so they cannot blow over.
  2. Prices should remain firm until the afternoon – someone came right behind a haggler to pay full price.
  3. All donated items must be received two full weeks before the event. It is too difficult to price and place items during the sale.
  4. Marketing is everything. We placed all the tools and yard items at the front – I saw several men pull over.
  5. Clothing should be placed by size and clearly marked – sorry, but time did not permit at this one!
  6. Music is a nice addition, food would be great if it were permitted. Curb appeal matters!
  7. Volunteer signups should be for shifts to provide maximum coverage.
  8. Keep in mind, above all, we want to leave a good impression on our customers. They are our neighbors and we want them to rethink their ideas about animals and vegans both!
Despite the learning curve, this event was better by far than our first event. Big, big thanks to Char, who arrived at 7:15 am and worked like a champ for several hours; Sabrina, who stayed from late morning to the bitter end, cleanup and all; and the ever faithful Adam, who squeezed in donating items, singing, feeding us, and helping gather our signage between two full working shifts — all without a single complaint. It was wonderful to see more people investing in our success – kudos to all who participated!
It was great to see three ARRNT tee shirts at the event – we looked so official. Best of all, several people stopped by our table to pick up literature about animal rights. Char stuck our flyers into the donated recyclable grocery bags in case some might learn about dairy when they got home. Best of all, we were able to deposit well over $200 in our checking account. We heard stories about rescued animals, family animal members, and concern for wildlife, yet when the topic turned ever so gently to the shared traits with farm animals, the conversation seemed to dwindle. Still, seeds were definitely planted. We were successful in providing funds for the coming winter; for spreading the word about animals to a few of our neighbors, and for creating goodwill with others. One of our customers agreed to donate to our next sale, two invited us to their church, and another rescue group will be the recipient of our unsold goods.
We look forward to the day we may retire this type of fundraising, but for now, we will plan to hold our next event in February or March. Every event makes us more of a presence in the north Texas area to remind people to consider the animals in all they do!
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