I heard about a month ago that our subdivision was having a yard sale. I don't like going to yard sales and I don't like having yard sales. I find that it's just too much effort for little return. Although I suppose if I put out a little more effort, I might sell more. I decided I would not do anything for the community yard sale and then I had a light bulb moment. I saw it in my head - and thought if I helped one person - it would be worth the hassle of setting up a yard sale.
So I got up bright and early this morning (too early for a Saturday!) and began to put together my stuff. My stuff you ask? Well - my LYME STUFF. I got a table - and a chair to sit in. I took it outside and covered it with a lime green liner - and I put out there my lime green binder with information about tick-borne illnesses in North Carolina. Then I grabbed Lyme Disease Association brochures and a flyer I created on proper tick removal. I grabbed about 10 shirts that are too small and 10 pants that are too small and set out to have a "yard" sale where I didn't have a goal of selling a thing and that every single person that came over would get a mini-presentation on tick removal and Lyme Disease.
I needed my husband's help to set up the clothes - and then he brought out some "manly" things. Again, wasn't really looking to sell anything - but if I did I did. Now for me - yard sales are a pain because it means I'm outside - for four straight hours. I don't like to be outdoors. It's just downright painful for me, but we do have professionals spray our yards so I'm trusting that our yards are safe (I've not found a tick on us since we started using the professional guys).
My goal was to educate one person and to sell nothing. Don't you know I wound up educating 33 people and getting $45 in my Lime Green Jar - $25 of it was for my husband's things - but $20 for my Lyme Awareness Campaign. Out of the 33 people I talked to - at least 1/2 didn't know that ticks carried bacteria or how to remove ticks properly. Out of the other 1/2 that did know about tick borne illness, 1/2 of those were also taught the improper way to remove ticks. So 75% of my table visitors were educated. I think I saw about 7 people that either had been diagnosed with Lyme or had a close friend or family member with Lyme and half of them had the chronic form of the disease.
One lady said it best, "I never got a schooling at a yard sale before. Thanks for the lesson. Keep up the good work."
A family came over and I asked if they knew how to remove a tick if they found one. The teenager said his Mom had "burnt one off me just yesterday." My mouth dropped and I explained that can cause the tick to throw up in their bodies. I think they looked like they were about to vomit. So I sent home with them a lot of brochures and tick cards. I even gave the guy a tick tool and showed him how to use it properly.
So who knew - you can get an education at a yard sale. :)
While I don't plan on doing these a lot, I found a new way to educate the public about Lyme. If your community is having a yard sale, consider doing one - and having a table to educate your visitors about Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses in your area. Set out a donation jar and someone might just pop in a dollar or two.