Owners of self storage facilities are always very open to participating in charitable and humanitarian projects. Hospitals, schools, cancer research, marching bands, women’s centers, and food coalitions are some of the entities that have benefited from the efforts of those who work in the self storage industry. Eastside Self Storage in North Bend, Washington, helps out, too. But this time, the community is half a world away.
North Bend resident, Don Baunsgard, traveled to Kasitu, Uganda in 2006. The sights he saw touched his heart — starving children with bloated stomachs from protein deficiency, people trying to collect rainwater off a tin roof because that was the purest water available. (However, even this runoff is contaminated and still causes disease and illness. UNICEF says that 2,000 children die every day due to contaminated rainwater worldwide.)
He visited Uganda again in 2007. He came back with a passionate vision – a dream of drilling 10 wells so that 4,000 people could get clean water from a well instead of from a dirty mud hole. That’s when he came up with the idea of having a massive yard sale – the biggest one ever in the Snoqualmie Valley.
If you have the biggest yard sale, you definitely need some place to store things until the day of the sale. That’s where Eastside Self Storage comes in. Baunsgard stored the items that he collected in their storage unit. He started collecting in February 2013 and got so many items that he filled 10 units! (He often had to rent a truck 3 times a week to pick up the donations.)
People donated amazing things to the yard sale. There were antiques, vintage musical instruments (like a 1946 piano), appliances, bucket seats for a 1967 Ford Mustang, and tools. There were bikes, televisions, and dining room tables and chairs. Of course people donated new and used clothing.
The yard sale was on July 26, 27, and 28 at the North Bend Elementary School. Four bands were on hand to provide live entertainment. Costco donated over 1,000 hotdogs, buns, chips and pop to sell to the shoppers for $5 to raise extra money. There were also daily early bird specials where people paid $5 to shop between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. before the general public was allowed in. Child care was also provided.
Baunsgard hopes to raise $15,000 so that there would be enough money to dig the wells. He also wants to purchase mosquito nets to protect children from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. With the help from Eastside Self Storage, he is well on his way.
“Bargain hunting to save lives; Trip inspires Don Baunsgard of North Bend to help people a half a world away.” Snoqualmie Valley Record; 25 July 2013.
“Local man puts on yard sale to drill wells in Uganda.” SnoValley Star; 24 July 2013.