Second-hand goods, first-rate blessings
Janita (Burke) Bean was inundated with baby clothes after her daughter McKenzie was born.
The items poured in from family and friends 21 months ago; Mrs Bean struggled to utilise everything before she outgrew them.
She eventually came up with an idea with help from best friend Arlita Bascome-McCook.
The two women will host a consignment sale next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Parents can come and sell off gently-used clothes, books and toys — and make a bit of extra cash.
Any unsold items then have the option of being donated to charities in Bermuda and Ghana.
The hope is to make Over the Moon Kids’ Consignment a biannual event.
“The whole idea started when I went to visit my best friend Arlita who lives in New Jersey,” Mrs Bean explained.
“She’s a Bermudian living out there and had just had a young child about a year ahead of my daughter. We went to a consignment sale in New Jersey and it was such a phenomenal experience — all these things you can get for a fraction of what you’d normally spend.
“After having that experience and having my own child, and seeing how much stuff I got for her that I didn’t even get to put her in, I got to thinking. People either bought things for her that she outgrew or they bought it in the wrong season and didn’t account for when she was six months old it wouldn’t be swimming time. That’s when we discussed trying a consignment sale like that in Bermuda.”
Because she’s an avid believer in community service, Mrs Bean decided to give people the option of donating leftover items to the Salvation Army, Red Cross or an overseas charity close to her heart, His Majesty’s Happy Home. She stumbled upon the charity in Nkonya, Ghana back in the summer of 2011.
“I was actually going to a conference in Nigeria and wanted to do some missions work in Ghana,” the Appleby partner said.
“My pastor had coincidentally met the head of His Majesty’s Happy Home at a conference in New York around the same time and put me in contact with her. I decided to go to the school and check it out.
“The woman [Rev Alberta Smith] pastors the church and serves as the head of the school as well. Even though she is a Christian the school is open to everyone with a need. There are Muslims and people who don’t have any faith. She doesn’t turn anyone away.”
Mrs Bean said the experience provided her with a different perspective on life.
“I think when you go away you really recognise how blessed we are in Bermuda,” the 40-year-old said.
“Some of these people just have nothing. We say we have nothing, but we have so much. They don’t have resources like Child & Family Services where they can go when they’re in need. It’s not until people like Rev Alberta brought this school into the region that they were offered help.
“Many of these children couldn’t even go to school. They either stayed at home or were living on the streets or living in bad situations.
“They were so grateful for me being there and I have video footage of when I went there and how happy they were. They were so thankful that someone cared about them and told me they wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere in life and didn’t think they could be someone before Rev Alberta offered them hope. Everyone wants that for a child, but some people just don’t have that opportunity.”
Eighteen months ago Mrs Bean, the head of missions at Restoration Fellowship, was able to host a clothes drive to get additional supplies for His Majesty’s Happy Home.
They were able to send 2,500lbs of goods thanks to DHL’s humanitarian aid programme in September 2013. “The need over there is so great. The reality is that although we sent off all this clothing and supplies to the children, these are people who essentially have nothing.
“We sent off the goods a year-and-a-half ago and now they need more supplies. Many of the children have been orphaned and don’t have anything. Some of them get by with just one pair of underwear and that’s all they have.”
Mrs Bean said she was looking forward to next week’s event and hopes it will be a blessing to others.
“I feel like the Bermuda community can sometimes experience a bit of giving fatigue. We are asked to give quite a lot, so this is an opportunity when people can make money for good things that they have and they can also come out and buy great items for less.
“Our catchphrase is ‘Exceptional quality at fairy tale prices’.
“I see it as a win-win and when I saw that consignment model in the States I was really excited about it.
“I don’t like to ask people ‘Do you have something you can give?’. But with this they have the ability to sell their gently-used goods, items with no holes or stains and no extensive wear, and earn a little extra money as well.
“They can also clear out their children’s closet and freshen it up, while also being a blessing to others.”
The sale takes place at the Intersection of Middle Road and Cobb’s Hill in Warwick next Thursday from 2pm until 8pm; Friday 10am until 7pm and Saturday 9am to 6pm. There will be a half-price sale for anything left over on Saturday, from 1pm until 6pm.
To register visit www.myconsignmentsale.com/moonkids
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