Dozens of Nelson businesses are having a rummage sale on June 20, selling old and new stock at reduced prices and giving half the proceeds to Nepal earthquake relief and the other half to Nelson Cares’ Room to Live campaign.
The Nelson to Nepal fundraiser is a project of the Nelson Business Association.
“It’s not confined to Baker Street or downtown,” says Teo Giovanni, the owner of Streetclothes Named Desire and one of the organizers. “We don’t want to use the word ‘downtown businesses.’ We want people to remember that there are vital businesses in places like Lakeside Drive, Railtown and Hall Street.
“I got a lot of positive feedback that people are behind the idea, and I anticipate that a majority of businesses will be participating.
“I am going to make a $10 table,” Giovanni says, “and I will have scarves, tank tops, tshirts, and jewellery. I will have another table of personal stuff, jewellery I don’t wear any more, some used goods.”
“And it not just retail,” says another event organizer, Val Semeniuk of Kootenay Moon. “It is the businesses above the stores. They can bring down their filing cabinets, chairs, lamps, boxes of folders, whatever.”
Semeniuk says she will be selling “silk florals, toss cushions, bedding, vases, and we will be giving at least $2000 worth of living room chairs to Room to Live.”
For every ice cream cone bought at Lakeside Takeaway (a new business beside Sears on Hall Street), a dollar goes to the campaign.
And for anyone looking to buy a drywall screw-gun for a good cause, John McArthur or Hipperson’s Hardware will have one of those on the table, as well as “something from every department in the store: housewares, power tools, plumbing supplies, automotive, camping gear.”
Giovanni says the idea started as a response to the earthquake in Nepal, “but then as we started talking about it, it came up that Nelson is in need also, and people would be more receptive if they knew some of the money was staying local.”
“We suggested to city hall that they look in their back room for stuff,” says Semeniuk.
“You can give anything from windows and doors to the shirt on your back,” says Giovanni.
Nancy Lewis of Cottonwood kitchens says, “I will be selling a lot of stuff I have done my windows with over the years, and place mats, glassware, patio glassware, teapots, large vases, Christmas decorations, a paella pan, two brown betty teapots from England, hipster highway lanterns patio lights.”
Margaret Stacey, also an organizer of the event, says the Nepal portion of the proceeds will be funnelled through the Rotary Club which is already involved in the Shelter Box campaign that provides emergency relief in the form of a box containing a family tent, blankets, water purification, cooking utensils, a stove, a tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.
Stacey said the business association already has one annual event, Santa on Baker, “and we would like to have another community anchor event each year in the spring, and it is this fundraiser, which was a brilliant idea of Nancy Lewis of Cottonwood Kitchens.”