Photo by Heather Middleton
By Joel Hall
For the past eight years, the Clayton County Humane Society has hosted giant yard sales in the spring and fall, as a way to keep the doors of the county's only no-kill animal shelter open.
With this year's fall sale quickly approaching, the organization's volunteers are canvassing the community for donations of furniture, electronics, and other high-ticket items.
The fall Treasures for Paws Sale (formerly known as the Mega Yard Sale) will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 8 a.m., to 4 p.m., on the front lawn of Jonesboro High School, at 7728 Mt. Zion Blvd., in Jonesboro.
From now until Sept. 27, the Humane Society will accept, and pick up, gently used furniture, electronics, Christmas items, household wares, DVDs, dryers, toys, and other items that can be sold to raise money for the shelter.
Jim Carter, program coordinator for the yard sale, said the Humane Society works for months to collect the items needed for the massive sale, which has amassed a following over the years. While the sale raises thousands for the shelter every year, he said, the shelter needs constant donations in order to meet the dietary and medical needs of the animals.
"A lot of the stuff we have is brand new and the best items go to the earliest shoppers," he said. "We start unloading at 5 a.m. The yard sale fanatics get there early with their flashlights to see what we have as we take it off the truck. There are items there from 25 cents to $200.
"If we made $10,000, that sounds like a lot of money, but when you consider vet bills, $10,000 doesn't go a long way. We need volunteers and donations 365 days a years. As the economy has gotten worse, the number of abandoned animals has increased."
Maria Dorough, development and community outreach coordinator for the Clayton County Humane Society, said the fall sale, unlike the spring sale, will include numerous Christmas items for purchase. She said the donations will assist with some of the shelter's biggest needs, such as the purchase of animal food and the replacement of the shelter's aging insulation and fencing.
"I think they [shoppers] like the fact that they are helping the animals, but they can also get some great deals," Dorough said. "You can probably furnish a whole apartment for $250. We have a lot of people who donate items to us every year, and a lot of the same people who shop with us.
"We really need some furniture," she continued. "We have some, but we could use a lot more, because that brings in more money. We don't get any county funds, and, right now, no grant money is available.
"Our donations are down by 50 percent, and this sale helps keep our doors open," Dorough said. "We need the help of everyone in the county to make it a success."
According to Dorough, the Humane Society will accept most items in good condition, with the exception of the following: clothing and shoes (other than infant sizes); mattresses and box springs; water beds; tires; washing machines; refrigerators (unless they are dorm-sized); sofa beds (loveseat beds are acceptable); and older-style computer monitors.
Local pick-ups can be arranged for large items in the Clayton County area, and tax receipts are available for donations, she said.
The Clayton County Humane Society is located at 7810 North McDonough St., in Jonesboro. To arrange a pick-up, or for more information, call (770) 471-9436.