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My garage sale butterfly effect experience


You may have heard the term “butterfly effect” before but weren’t sure what this means; simply put it refers to a small incident or change which results later in larger and greater changes. Last week, attended the annual Garagellennium, a huge district-wide garage sale held in Oak Bay with hundreds of people selling and recycling their used items. It was so wonderful to see someone’s “trash” become someone else’s treasure, but what was even more wonderful was the butterfly effect I was fortunate to be a part of at the garage sale. Here’s how it started:

A day prior to the event, one of our users made us aware of a post on our site about a charity garage sale happening the day after Garagellennium. Friends of a local Victoria family were asking for donated items to sell in order to raise funds for a little boy named Owen who is battling leukemia. Wanting to help, we decided to print off some small flyers to distribute at Garagellennium, asking sellers to drop off unwanted items after the garage sale at our booth and we would deliver them to the charity garage sale. The UsedTeam passed out a few pamphlets to the nearby homes and it seemed hopeful we would have a pickup truck full of goods to donate for the following day.

Well, word obviously spread like wild fire about our donation offer because before the garage sale even ended, we had an entire lawn full of donated items (and I’m pleased to announce they were all wonderful intact items that someone would be happy to buy!).

This is about half of what was donating. Huge shout out to the Oak Bay Community!


The community went above and beyond our expectations; so much so that we had to figure out how we’d actually transport everything as my pickup truck was already jam packed with only a tiny percentage of the donations. I called a local moving company, Done Right Moving, to see if they were able to help us and fortunately they were available on such short notice to pick up and drop off the items on our behalf. Phew…disaster averted.

I called Colleen and Sarah, the organizers of the charity garage sale to let them know when to expect us and simply told them they would be pleasantly surprised. Boy were they ever! The moving truck was filled to the brim (a very big truck!) and they were overjoyed with the amount and quality of items the community donated.

Volunteers spent all morning setting up items for the garage sale. The donated items just kept on coming from the community.


As we were unloading items, Sarah mentioned she had seen a post on that friends of Molly Campbell’s family were hosting a charity garage sale and were also looking for donated items for the following weekend.  Molly is a two and a half year old girl who is also battling leukemia and Sarah was hoping to pay it forward by donating all the unsold items from their garage sale to help this cause. The only problem was that they had no way of  transporting for all the goods. Being sincerely humbled by all this selfless generosity, we simply had ensure the pay it forward train kept chugging along! I told her would be happy to hire the moving company to come back at the end of the day to pick up the items and donate them to Baby Molly’s charity garage sale.

She called me later that afternoon with wonderful news; their garage sale raised almost $1,000 for the family and they still had tons of items leftover for the next charity garage sale which would hopefully fetch a similar dollar amount.

So here’s the breakdown: the simple act of someone posting an ad on turned into a large community donating hundreds of items which supported two local families in need, raised hundreds of dollars and kept hundreds of items out of the landfill. It’s not every day you get to see that amount of selflessness and generosity and it’s something I won’t forget anytime soon. Now that’s what I call a great example of the butterfly effect!

The “Support Molly Campbell and her Family” Garage sale is happening on Saturday, June 15th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please click here


Community Coordinator at, blogger, social media junkie, proud mama, fabulously frugal, proud to be from our beautiful city!

2 Responses to “My garage sale butterfly effect experience”

Judy Russell

It just goes to show how many caring people there are in this world…great organizing, Carly.


Donna Chaytor

It;s truly with gratitude we are blessed with individuals who have heart, and are willing to give in order to help others who are experiencing challenges beyond what is normal in this the journey of life. The Butterfly Effect is amazing, and I indeed admire Used Victoria for their generosity as a company for their involvement and donations. Sometimes it does take a communiy to help raise a child, and obviously this is happening on this wonderful island.


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