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Posted July 17, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Free for all: Edinburg Park to host market for those in need

Joan Litten, of Edinburg, cleans out her garage, looking for items to donate to the Edinburg Really Really Free Market to be held on July 25 at Edinburg Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

Litten rummages through a box of old books to bring to the market. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Ben Orcutt -- borcutt@nvdaily.com

EDINBURG -- Organizers of the Edinburg Really Really Free Market are inviting the entire community to come out on July 25 for a really, really good time in light of the current economic downturn.

"We just sort of got the idea that we would try [to combine] a really fun day out, which many families are lacking, with some neat stuff for 'em to have access to," says Ann McBroom, a member of Edinburg Christian Church, which is coordinating the event scheduled at Edinburg Park and the old Edinburg High School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 25.

"So the two parts really to our market are the entertainment and food, all of which is being given free," McBroom adds. "Then with that, we have what we want to be a huge free yard sale so that people can pick up furniture, clothing, school supplies, food and also come and get some help with some of their problems."

Two social workers will be on hand from the Shenandoah County Department of Social Services, McBroom says, in addition to representatives of Valley Health, who will provide free medical screenings; state police, who will fingerprint children; financial advisers; and an array of others offering free support.

The park will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. on July 24 so that donated items can be dropped off, McBroom says.

No one will ask for proof on July 25 that those who want to take the donated items are truly in need, she adds.

"To be honest, we would like it to be a time when everybody in the community comes together, and we are trusting that the people who pick things up need them," she says. "I think from what we have gathered there's gonna be a lot of people in need.

"We already have some furniture, some garden tools, some office equipment, some school supplies, but we're heavily dependent on people bringing it that Friday and Saturday. We're not set up to give them a tax break. It's purely drop off what you're really willing to give away for nothing.

"We're trying to get churches, clubs to try and coordinate collection and bring it because my worry is we know from the feedback we've got, we've got dozens of people phoning us. We've got hundreds of cards and fliers out. I don't want them to come to the market and find out there isn't a lot of stuff to pick up, and I don't want people to say, 'Oh, I wish I'd have known.'"

Fellow Edinburg Christian Church member Bill Wetzel is helping McBroom organize the event.

"It's an opportunity for the whole community to come together and be a part of this," Wetzel says. "There's no one person or one organization really bringing this off. This is a community effort by a lot of churches, businesses and civic organizations."

The event will go on rain or shine, Wetzel adds, with the use of three shelters at the park and a large tent courtesy of Laughlin Auctions.

"The entertainment is down at the school grounds on the stage there in front of the school, and we also have a lot of games and stuff for the kids back up at the park," Wetzel says.

In addition to other donated food items, there will be hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, bottled water and 1,000 cartons of milk courtesy of Shenandoah Pride. Wetzel says that some cash donations will be used to purchase school supplies to give away.

"That frees up family money to pay other bills and things like that," he says.

There should be enough volunteers on hand to help people who need assistance loading items, and transportation will be provided to bus people from around the county to the event if they have no other means of getting there, Wetzel says.

Leftover food will go to the local food bank and clothing to a local clothes closet, with the remaining items taken by local Boy Scouts for a yard sale fundraiser in the fall.

"Everybody wins in this thing," Wetzel says. "Nothing is being sold. No money will change hands. Everything will be free. It's something for everybody. This thing has affected everybody. We're just trying to provide a little relief for everybody."

Joan Litten, also a member of Edinburg Christian Church, agrees and is planning to clear out her house of items she no longer wants or needs for the free market.

"I think it's a good idea," Litten says. "I think that with the economy the way it is, there's people out there that really need things that they can't afford to go to the store and get. That will help us out who have things they want to just get rid of."

For more information on the Edinburg Really Really Free Market, call McBroom at 933-6313, Wetzel at 325-2961, Edinburg Christian Church at 984-8155, or visit the Web site, www.edinburgreallyreallyfreemarket.blogspot.com.

1 Comment | Leave a comment

    This is what America is all about! This is what made/makes our country the best in the world! What a wonderful way to help those in need. I pray God bless you all in your Really Really Free Market day!

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