For Susan Thompson-Gaines, being kind is not a passive act performed in silence.
The Arlington, Virginia, woman instead sees kindness as a form of activism — a driven, purposeful effort to create meaningful change for everyone around her. That’s why, for the third year in a row, this “kindness activist” threw a Kindness Yard Sale!
At first, Susan’s yard sale looks like every other one you’ve ever seen on the side of the road. But when you look closer, you’ll realize there are no prices on any of the items. She simply asks patrons to donate whatever they see fit. Some people might pay just a few dollars for 20 dresses, but others will plunk down $230 for a stuffed teddy bear.
Everyone who comes to the sale understands that it’s not Susan who will benefit from the money they pay; it’s their community, and the people who live all around them.
At Susan’s Kindness Yard Sale, whatever they earn is used to buy Christmas presents for local kids, throw a party for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and fill food pantries for the winter.
The first year, Susan cleaned out her own closets and raised just $1,705. She started accepting donations in subsequent years, and her community responded with armfuls of clothing, toys, and household items.
People even volunteer to sort and tag donated items, and the event has turned into a way for neighbors to come together in the name of charity and compassion. In 2021, they raked in over $11,000, and all of it will go straight to the people who need it most!
“This year, it was just like an army of people saying, ‘I’m here, what do you need?'” Susan explained. “People will say, ‘How did we do today?’ It’s become a community thing, which I love.”
“Kindness spreads when shared, so go out and be kind,” Susan wrote on her blog. “Talk of the kindness you witness. Inspire others. Kindness is a super power that needs to be shared.”
We couldn’t agree more, Susan! If you agree, too, share her powerful message to encourage yard sales like these in your own community.
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