Saturday, April 13, 2013

My educating yard sale

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.

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