The advent of bargain hunting appears to be upon us as more and more people from all backgrounds are flocking to thrift stores and charity shops in search of deals on clothes, accessories, home goods and more. One of Austin’s most prominent opportunities to bargain hunt and support a good cause is the annual Garage and Estate Sale hosted at the Palmer Event Center by The Settlement Home for Children, one of Austin's oldest nonprofit organizations. ORANGE Magazine brings you a look at this long-running charity event.
Story by Rylan Henderson
Photos by Carlie Whisman
According to Danielle Bornowski, communications director for The Settlement Home, the organization is a private, licensed nonprofit that cares for children who come from abusive and neglectful backgrounds. Its mission is to promote healing and growth in children, young adults and families by providing continuous care, support and resources. Its Foster and Adoption Program trains and verifies families in the Austin community to provide a safe, therapeutic family setting for boys and girls of all ages. The residential programs provide a healthy, structured environment for adolescent girls, and its Transitional Living Program provides a supportive apartment living experience for young women age 18-21. These programs provide residents with the tools, resources and life skills they need to live healthy and productive lives.
The garage sale is the largest fundraising event The Settlement Home for Children hosts annually. Funding received from state contracts does not cover the full cost of care and services provided, so events such as the annual garage sale help the organization raise the necessary amount. The sale, which took place for the 42nd time in a row Nov. 2-5, brings in thousands of shoppers from across the state and even the country for the opportunity to shop for unique vintage goods, raising over $1 million for The Settlement Home last year alone. The event is completely volunteer-led every year; each of the folks you see making it happen are there because they believe in the mission of The Settlement Home and want to make a difference in the Austin community.
The Preview Party, which occurs on the Thursday before the sale, is a way for hundreds of Austinites to get a shot at the merchandise and enjoy a social dinner, traditionally catered by Maudie’s Tex-Mex, before even more people come through the doors on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets to this year’s Preview Party could be purchased before the event for $75, while early access tickets for Friday were available at Austin-area Randalls Food Marts for $8, or $10 at the door. Saturday and Sunday were both free to attend and open to the public, but entry lines got long very quickly.
Austinites are more than familiar with the idea of shopping for vintage and unique goods, so The Settlement Home’s annual Garage Sale is yet another opportunity for those that want to do a little bargain hunting while also supporting a local cause. If you are interested in helping out the organization in other ways, they are always looking for volunteers and accepting donations at their Austin headquarters.