By Ethan Woodhouse
Aug. 17, 2012. For the 12th year running, Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT) will host the Big Sale, this Saturday at Legends nightclub on the ASU campus.
Since the first Big Sale raised $3,342 at Duck Pond Field in 2000, the effort has seen substantial growth.
“Last year’s sale was a huge success,” said assistant director of community service with ACT Kate Johnson. “Last year, proceeds went to Mountain Alliance, Farm at Mollie’s Branch, NC Cooperative Extension and Uphill Ministries at Cherokee Cove. This year, proceeds will benefit The Children’s Playhouse, NC Agricultural Extension, and a partnership between Hospitality House and NC AIRE. The money funds projects such as insulating buildings, purchasing and installing energy efficient appliances, purchasing and installing photovoltaic technology and conducting energy audits.”
From 65 tons of merchandise in 2010 and 70 tons last year and $20,000 raised, the Big Sale expects to have similar results this Saturday.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBOw1ekB-e0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]
“ACT gets asked this question a lot and it is very difficult to tell what this year will bring,” said Johnson regarding expectations of Saturday’s Sale. “We seem to have collected at least as much stuff as last year so we are hopeful we will have another success sale! The amount raised is a genuine surprise every year.”
Since inception, the BIG Sale has generated over $80,000 for charities.
ACT collects the majority of items for sale through the annual Don’t Throw It Away Collection at the end of each school year. About 200 volunteers will travel from residence hall to residence hall collecting items that have been saved.
“Housing is a big help in the whole process,” said Johnson. “Without them this wouldn’t be possible.”
The items collected are then delivered to Legends, sorted and boxed up. At the end of the summer, more volunteers unpack, merchandise and set up the Sale in the week leading up to it.
For those interested, donations can be accepted up until 3 p.m. Friday before the sale.
The sale itself will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine.
“The BIG Sale is a unique event that is green from start to finish and every year we marvel at how much would have ended up in landfills if students and community volunteers didn’t dedicate themselves to the Don’t Throw it Away effort in the spring,” John said. “I highly recommend that people stop by Legends on Saturday August 18th between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to check out the BIG Sale. It is quite a sight to see and has something to offer anyone who walks through our doors.”