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Powerful proceeds

Hooktown Holidays’ 6th Annual Garage Sale benefits more than treasure seekers

This picture — Hooktown’s logo, for all intents and purposes — was drawn by Jahzara Hunter and submitted for use by Hooktown Holidays with permission from her grandmother, Sally Hunter.

Hooktown Holidays started as a “what if,” according to the charitable organization’s founder, Terry Pearson. His family’s personal “what if” has grown into an opportunity for individuals throughout the community to join in and find out “what” happens “if” you do your part to help people in your community.

Hooktown Holidays is having its 6th Annual Garage Sale on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale takes place at 1201 Conewango Ave., Warren. All proceeds are donated to local charities and benefit those in the community.

About seven years ago, he and his wife had a casual discussion about ways they could help someone in need during the holidays. They agreed to set aside $2 per week, actually $6 when you include the couple and their labrador retriever.

Once they settled on a plan, they set out to seek out someone in need and also asked neighbors if they would like to contribute. They set up a spreadsheet at a local store to keep track of donations. By the end of the year, they had collected more than

$5,000.

That was just the beginning of what has grown into a charitable organization that in its first seven years has provided more than $125,0000 in help to those in need throughout the community, according to Pearson.

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Items for sale during a prior Hooktown Holidays Garage Sale. This year’s sales will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’re not a holiday charity,” Pearson clarified. “We’re here 365 days per year. We’re doing the right thing, making a difference, and we’re here to stay.”

The organization is now a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a board of directors and a mission statement: “To provide nutritious food, warm clothing and other necessities of life for the children of Warren County and families in need.”

The organization has provided help to many local groups and organizations, including food pantries at schools.

There are multiple ways to donate, according to Pearson.

“We always accept checks and cash,” he said.

Last year, they started accepting credit card donations and online donations via their website and Facebook page.

“We also have a sustaining donation program that can be set up through a bank or other financial institution,” he said.

Any amount is appreciated, Pearson said.

“The smallest amount we got was 13 cents from a child who attended an event,” he said.

Recently, they received an anonymous donation of $1,000 from someone in North Carolina.

“We want people to know this is their charity and they can choose how to donate,” Pearson said. “It’s your charity, your way.”

Anyone who has items to donate to the upcoming garage sales can drop them off at 1201 Conewango Ave., Warren. Local pickup may also be arranged by calling (814) 688-9979.

“Anything we can’t or don’t sell will be donated to The Salvation Army,” Pearson said.

The fundraising doesn’t end with the garage sales.

The Hooktown Holidays First Chicken Barbecue will be Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lindell’s Hatch Patch, 522 Hatch Run Road, Warren. Tickets are $10. They can be purchased at the Hatch Patch, Ekey’ Florist and Greenhouse, and Virg-Ann Flower and Gift Shop.

Beyond the fundraising and giving back, Pearson has hopes for future growth.

“My dream is to have a facility where we could take in items all year-round for people in need,” he said.

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