Proceeds for Poverty shifts from three-day yard sale to online shopping

TROUTVILLE, Va. – Like almost everything else in 2020, a large, popular Botetourt County yard-sale fundraiser looks a lot different this year.

This year, Proceeds for Poverty isn’t happening at Rainbow Forest Baptist Church off Route 460, instead, you can now shop the annual sale right from your phone.

Since 2011, the church’s massive three-day sale has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for people here at home and around the world.

“The cool thing is with this event 100% of all the funds go to help people living in poverty,” explained event coordinator Charlene Smith.

With the need for help only getting worse as the world faces a global pandemic, event organizers knew they had to do something this year to raise money.

Instead of setting up thousands of items at a local church and welcoming the public for three days, they decided to grab their phones, take pictures and post to Facebook Marketplace.

“When we saw all of the COVID stuff we thought, oh, we just don’t know if this is going to happen, but we’ve been proven wrong and we love that,” said Smith.

In fact, online sales have already raised $7,500 to feed families in third world countries, help protect local women from sex trafficking and help foster families with needed children supplies.

Organizers said not doing something was not an option.

“For us, it’s important because there’s people in need. There’s people that are hurting in this world and we all have the ability to make a difference and when you see the community coming together to make a difference in people’s lives, that’s what it’s about,” Smith said.

Every online sale rings up to lives changed.

Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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