June 21, 2010

JH-U-Turn ‘yard’ sale raises more than $5,800 for Neighborhood Fund

Hundreds of shoppers packed the O’Connor Recreation Center for the first JH-U-Turn sale, where they snapped up bargain-priced household goods and clothing. Photo: Will Kirk/Homewoodphoto.jhu.edu

By 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, the checkout line at the first JH-U-Turn sale measured the length of two basketball courts. Quickly, volunteer sales clerks began taking best-offer prices to keep the line moving, while hundreds of bargain-hunter shoppers scanned for finds among aisles of gently used electronics, books, furniture and clothing at Homewood’s O’Connor Recreation Center.

Said one shopper, “By the time I arrived around 9:30 a.m., most of the stuff was already gone.” Items such as fans, coffee makers, pots and pans, couches and other furniture sold quickly. By 1 p.m., the remaining shoppers enjoyed $5 all-you-can-carry deals on armfuls of clothing and accessories.

JH-U-Turn, the brainchild of Carrie Bennett, Johns Hopkins’ student/community liaison for the Homewood campus, saved almost 90 cubic yards of trashed “good stuff” from student move-out and, along with faculty and staff donations, filled two basketball courts for the giant “yard” sale.

Utilizing Johns Hopkins and community volunteers to collect and sort the items and operate the sale—and thanks to the contribution of a trailer, storage pods, a forklift and labor from ABF U-Pack Moving—the event raised more than $5,800 for the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, which provides grants to neighborhood nonprofit organizations as part of the institutions’ annual United Way campaign.