Photo courtesy of Cassidy Harrison.
Garage Giveaway volunteers 2013
Volunteers gather at last year’s The Garage Giveaway.
The Garage Giveaway
Saturday, Dec. 7 • 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, 100 Ben Chapman Drive
Drop Off Donations
Monday-Friday • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Discovery United Methodist Church, 5487 Stadium Trace Parkway
On a December morning, a mother gathered her two children and left home with the intent to never return. She was fleeing an abusive relationship, and whatever she found at The Garage Giveaway was what she and her children would begin their new life with. That day, the Hoover-based event was able to provide her with clothes, toiletries and basic household items.
As the founder of The Garage Giveaway, Cassidy Harrison has heard many stories like this one. The event was born five years ago when Harrison read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. She was inspired by his message of extravagant giving and felt a pull to replicate it in her community through a free garage sale-style event.
“It’s about a voluntary sacrifice of the excess in our lives to meet the needs of others,” Harrison said.
The annual event, scheduled for Dec. 7, allows those who have a financial need to browse and take home the donations.
“We are diligent to invite people who have already been identified as families who would benefit from assistance,” Harrison said. “For example, we distribute flyers at government housing projects and food banks at the discretion of counselors.”
A team of 10 young adults prepares year-round, and that number quickly multiplies to 100 volunteers on the day of the event to accommodate a crowd around 5,000.
The Garage Giveaway accepts donations of everything except food, underwear, swimsuits, opened bath products and weapons. Items that are always needed include all sizes of clothes and shoes, furniture, appliances, home goods, toys, books, videos and kitchen ware. The items are sorted and given away for free to attendees.
Local merchants have also become involved by donating grocery produce boxes. Uncle Bob’s Storage in Hoover assists with storage and moving, and Discovery United Methodist Church allows use of their facility and resources.
The Garage Giveaway is currently looking for an attorney to help them draft a 501(c)(3) application and also has a need for volunteers looking to donate their time, money or possessions to the event.