Rain Doesn’t Stop Shoppers at TROSA Yard Sale

By Jennifer Kim
UNC Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

The cold weather and rain didn’t deter shoppers on Saturday at the Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) Yard Sale at their headquarters located at 1820 James St.

“I think it’s turned out to be a community event in Durham,” said Michael Keene, vice president of TROSA Business Operations.

Keene said on the first day of the yard sale 1,258 cars were counted throughout the day at the event, which was held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Keene said TROSA holds four yard sales a year.  He said the proceeds fund the operations of TROSA, a long-term recovery program which rehabilitates residents with a variety of substance addictions.

Residents of the program conducted the yard sale by cashiering, stocking items, straightening clothes and helping customers.

Latasha Garner said she came with her daughter after a friend told her about TROSA selling affordable cleaning supplies.  Garner said she bought six bottles of Clorox for $5.

The yard sale offered a variety of cleaning products that lined shelves, making the yard sale look more like the inside of a store.

The items for sale come from donations, businesses that donate overstock inventory or donations through the TROSA moving company.

Overstock donations from companies result in unique yard sale items such as rows of barbeque sauce and salad dressing.

The three-day yard sale drew in crowds buying a variety of products such as appliances, furniture, clothing, books and electronics.

“I would come back to another yard sale for the cleaning supplies,” Garner said.  She said the prices of the cleaning supplies were cheaper than where she usually shops.

Keene said that he estimates sales to be two-thirds of what is usually earned at the other yard sales throughout the year.

“We’ve been plagued with the rain.  It’s rained two days out of the three,” Keene said.  “I’m sure that put a damper on it.”

Keene said the yard sale was advertised through classified advertisements and more than 100 signs throughout Durham.  However, he said the word of mouth was equally important.

Connie Schwamberger said she had spotted signs while driving and decided to come to the yard sale.

“I heard about the last sale and I didn’t get over here so I thought I didn’t want to miss it this time,” Schwamberger said.

Schwamberger said the cleaning supplies were “much cheaper” than what she usually pays on her shopping trips.  She said she plans to come back to other TROSA yard sales.

Schwamberger said she bought cleaning wipes that were a dollar a container.

“And I’m going to tell all my friends about it,” Schwamberger said.

The yard sale is only one of the ways TROSA funds its programs, including four Christmas Tree lots, a moving company, a grocery store, a lawn care service and frame shop.

“The yard sale helps, especially with the economy like it’s been,” Keene said.  “And not only that, but it’s a double bang really, because we’re able to help the community with good pricing and affordable products.”

“Who wouldn’t like to buy a nice brand new T-shirt for a dollar?” Keene said.

Caption 1:
Connie Schwamberger browses the cleaning supply section, she she said had great deals.