By Joel Hall
For many abandoned and abused animals, the Clayton County Humane Society is a safe haven where potential pets can find owners without the threat of euthanasia. This month, workers and volunteers will collect items from the community for the Humane Society's "Fall Mega Yard Sale," one of the organization's most successful and vital fund-raisers.
The Fall Mega Yard Sale will take place on Oct. 3 from 8 a.m., to 4 p.m., in the parking lot of Jonesboro High School, located at 7728 Mt. Zion Blvd., in Jonesboro. Until Sept. 28, the Humane Society will collect furniture, baby toys, books, electronics, blankets, dishes, golf clubs, and other household items which will be sold to benefit the shelter.
Gwen Lyle, co-coordinator of development and community outreach for the Clayton County Humane Society, said the organization traditionally hosts two large yard sales - one in the spring and one in the fall. She said the sales generate a substantial portion of organization's yearly operating budget.
"Along with being a no-kill facility, we are a nonprofit," Lyle said. "We get no county or state funding, so we operate solely on fund-raisers and donations. A lot of our money goes toward vetting these animals, because when we get them, they are not in good shape. If we have to take care of a lot of sick or injured animals, that can wipe out thousands of dollars in a matter of weeks.
"Animal surrenders in Clayton County are at an all-time high," she added. "These sales are some of our biggest fund-raisers and without doing events like this, we would probably not be able to keep our doors open."
According to Lyle, the Fall Mega Yard Sale is more than just an average yard sale, due to the volume of items the group usually receives. She said the yard sale often features entire sections of electronics, living room furniture, dining room and kitchen sets, household goods, glassware, artwork, holiday items, trinkets and vintage items.
"We always have a hodgepodge of stuff," said Robin Rawls, vice president of the Clayton County Humane Society. "Furniture, that is probably our biggest seller. We have a lot of regular, consistent support to our yard sale. If it's a nice day, a lot of our adopters will bring their pets by and let us see them. Past adopters will usually give us a little more than what they have purchased."
According to Humane Society officials, items range in price from 25 cents for used paperback books to $125 for dining-room sets. Most items are priced under $10, according to officials.
Lyle said the Fall Mega Yard Sale also serves as an advertising tool for the shelter. She said the yard sale gives people a chance to purchase items they may not normally be able to afford and gives the Humane Society a chance talk about its animal-adoption policies.
"A yard sale, in this financial climate, is a chance for people to shop who might not be able to purchase these things otherwise," said Lyle. "It's a good way to get our name out in the community and show them the animals that we care for. We often bring them to the sale. I find that people shop a lot more often if you have a little fuzzy dog in your arms."
Until Sept. 28, the Clayton County Humane Society will pick up donated furniture items from Clayton residents only. The Humane Society will not accept clothing, mattresses, box springs, washing machines, dryers, or refrigerators. In the case of rain, the yard sale will take place on Oct. 10, in the Jonesboro High School parking lot.
To schedule a pick up, or for more information, call (770) 471-9436.