The Coupeville Lions Club is adapting to a COVID-19 world by running the “biggest and best” garage sale in cyberspace.
The members of the club realized that the gigantic annual sale cannot happen this month because of the pandemic, but they still have two big storage barns full of donated items, as well as more than 500 plants for the related plant sale.
The members worked all year picking up donations from community members, cleaning, sorting and storing the items for the big June event, as well as nurturing plants donated from various gardening sources.
As a result, the club created a website for an online garage sale, www.CoupevilleLions.org, and Facebook Marketplace page that will run every week throughout the rest of the summer.
“The Lions Club created two different teams to focus on the plants and the donated items,” a press release states.
“Both teams, with no e-commerce experience, have been burning the midnight oil to get ready for a late June launch.
Each week new items will be listed as the previous week’s items sell.”
Members of each team will choose a certain number of items to place on the websites for sale each week.
Deanna Rogers, the PR chairperson, said the club will likely focus on furniture and larger items. It would just be too cumbersome to place smaller items like dishes on the website, she said.
The Lions Garage Sale has a special relationship with the Coupeville School District, the press release states. For the two weeks prior to the two-day sale, items are moved from storage to Coupeville Elementary School with the help of high school students. The one exception was 2018, when it was moved to the middle school for a year while the elementary school was being remodeled.
In turn, the funds raised by the garage sale have supported school district projects, as well as other community efforts.
Last year, the garage sale raised $40,000.
Rogers said the members have been working hard to set up the online sales but everyone is hoping things will go back to normal next year.
“It’s more fun,” she said, “more efficient and makes the community happy.”
The Coupeville Lions Club was established in 1938 and, with its 140 members, holds claim to being the largest and most active service organization on the island.
The club has over 20 ongoing service projects and contributes funds to over 30 community organizations, the press release states.