TIMONIUM - It's an event that attracts hundreds of bargain shoppers each year. The Clearing House Sidewalk Sale features unique consignment pieces and all the proceeds benefit the House of Ruth.
The Sidewalk Sale started more than 20 years ago with just a few tables, literally on a sidewalk. Lisa Hudson, co-owner of the Clearing House, says the idea came as a way to help clear out some inventory in the store.
"We were trying to find a way to give back to the community, and in turn, sell some household goods and furniture at a very affordable price," she said.
Since the Sidewalk Sale began, it has grown to more than 40 tables under a huge tent on a parking lot. Over the years, the Clearing House has donated the proceeds to various charities. For the past 10 years, they've given all of the money to the House of Ruth.
"We went to tour the House of Ruth this spring," sad Cara Derr, Hudson's sister and co-owner of the Clearing House. "It was a very valuable experience for all the women that work here to see exactly what this day means to that organization."
The House of Ruth helps women who are victims of domestic abuse and serves roughly 9,000 women and their children each year. They provide a variety of services such as shelter, counseling and a 24 hour hotline. Every dollar is vital to keeping the women and children safe and secure.
"We do have extended care programs for families because we're not going to throw them out," said Lenora Henry, Associate Director of Development for the House of Ruth. "We want to be able to make sure they are comfortable in order to move on to the next step."
The true impact of the fundraiser doesn't come when the last item is sold and the totals are calculated. It's when people who benefited from the House of Ruth come up to Hudson and Derr and simply say thank you.
"To us, it really makes the whole direct connection," said Hudson. "That someone is coming to the sale and supports the sale because maybe they've had a better life because of the services they received at the House of Ruth."
The sisters work all year long on this event, organizing one of the biggest yard sales in town. It's a huge commitment, but in the end, they both say it's worth it.
The Sidewalk Sale is happening Wednesday, September 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Clearing House off West Padonia Road in Timonium. They will only accept cash or checks and all furniture must be taken that day.