At their recent donation day, Berwick yardsalers Elsie Parrish and Jim Sherrard, seated, donated a total of $6,000 to several local community organizations. From left are fund recipients Millie Clements and Betty Hebb for Children’s Wish Foundation; Linda Foote, Order of the Eastern Star; Wylie Saltzman, New Life Ministry; Michael Keith, Waterville & District Fire Department; Jane Lutz, The Apple Tree Foundation; and Joan Harris, Berwick Food Bank. Missing From the photo was Ashley Perry, Valley Search and Rescue. - Submitted
By Nancy Kelly
Jim Sherrard and Elsie Parrish pursue their passion for yardsales with a twist.
Since 2009, the couple has hosted a perpetual weekend yardsale from April to September at their Berwick home to raise money for local charitable organizations and help those in need.
“We heard a family in Aylesford was doing the same kind of thing and earning enough to heat their home. So we figured, if they can do it, why can’t we,” said Gerrard.
The big difference was Parrish and Sherrard agreed to donate all the proceeds to charity. Once they set their mind to it, they got a bigger vehicle and started trolling the roads between New Minas and Middleton during Valley Waste’s clean up weeks.
“You can’t believe the stuff you can find out there,” said Sherrard. “It might be junk to you, but it’s treasures to us.”
They only retrieve items that can be sold and they ensure all are in working order before being put up for sale. Over the years, as word of their reputation grew, people have also donated directly to them for their yardsales.
“We get lots of calls to pick stuff up, and often, we come home and find stuff dropped off to us,” Parrish said.
While they are appreciative of all donations, they politely remind people not to drop off items that can’t be sold.
“The stuff that’s no good has to be taken to the landfill and that costs us,” explained Sherrard. The couple doesn’t like to take any money away from what is raised if they don’t have to. That includes the cost of gas for all their travelling.
“We want to raise as much money as possible for people who need it,” said Parrish.
Over the years, the couple has donated to the Waterville and District Fire Department’s women’s auxiliary, the Valley Chapter of Children’s Wish Foundation and Valley Search and Rescue, to name a few. At their Sept. 22 donation day, held at the Waterville fire hall, they gave away a total of $6,000 to those groups and Eastern Star, Berwick Foodbank, Appletree Foundation and New Life Ministry. Shortly before the event, they made a special donation to the family of two-year-old Jacob Stern of Centreville, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer.
“They needed help and we did what we could to help them,” said Parrish.
The couple will soon be back out culling through roadside items placed out for fall clean up. The treasures they uncover will be stored in one of the several outbuildings behind their home and used to build inventory for their 2014 sale season.
“Yep, we will be back at it, looking for people to come back and buy so we can help make a difference,” said Sherrard.