Mom to Mom Sales are garage sale-type events that are popular among women who need to provide wardrobes for their children at a fraction of the cost of purchasing an all-new wardrobe.
Traci Okuley, Continental, organized the sale. She has four children, ages four, one, and newborn twins, and realized the importance of bargain shopping.
"I got the idea because other towns have put one on, and Continental has never had one," she explained.
Okuley began planning for the sale in April. Her only methods of advertising were on the Mom to Mom and the Putnam County Garage Sale Facebook fan pages. More than 20 people paid $25 each to set up a booth at Continental Elementary School on Saturday, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Attendees paid a $1.00 admission fee. Breakfast and lunch foods were available for purchase. The Continental Legion, Bob's Carryout, and Clubhouse Pizza donated tables for the wares to be displayed. Tables filled both the cafeteria and the gymnasium.
Okuley not only wanted the event to help other moms get needed gently used clothing, toys, games, and other supplies, but she also had a couple other ideas for beneficiaries.
Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, has become an important place in the Okuley family's lives. One-year-old Isabella Grace has a genetic kidney problem, which was discovered while Okuley was pregnant with the toddler. Isabella goes to Nationwide for treatments, and will most likely eventually have to get stints, according to her mother. The proceeds from the sale (booth price, admission, and food) will be donated to Nationwide.
In addition, all the items that did not sell were donated to Heartbeat of Lima.
Jennifer Backhaus, from Continental, had set up a booth at the event.
"It is a great idea. There are so many people in one location, the advertising was taken care of, and I didn't have to clean out my garage- I just brought my stuff here!" she described. Backhaus also has a son who doctors at Nationwide, so she was pleased the proceeds were going to the institution.
Moms from all over attended the event. Carrie Ellerbrock, from Leipsic, said she came to get items for her new baby, and winter items for her other children. Tiffany Hurd, from Haviland, exclaimed, "I have two kids and I love to shop! I love a good sale." Jen Jeffers, an Ottawa resident, explained, "I came for baby clothes. I go to every one of them (Mom to Mom Sales)- I can't pass it up!" Miller City mom Tessa Schnipke, who was searching for play clothes, said, "I've got two kids and I have to save money. This is a lot better than going around to a lot of garage sales."