Posted by: Autism Speaks | June 25, 2010

Garage Sale for Autism

By Kristy Minor of the Portland Walk

May 21-23 I held a fundraiser garage sale at my house.  I was originally going to attempt this to raise funds for just Autism Speaks because I signed my team up to walk in support of my 11 year old son, Alex.  In the midst of planning the sale, my Aunt Judy informed me that she was trying to do a fundriaser with a local pizza shop for herself because she is completely unemployable, after a tragic car accident left her a quadriplegic. I wanted to help her but I couldn’t think of any way that I could sell those pizza coupon cards for her. 

I decided that I could raise money for both causes.  I held a 50/50 fundraiser garage sale.  All proceeds would be donated equally in half to Aunt Judy and Autism Speaks.  It took more than a week to clean, sort, arrange, set up, and price all of the items in my garage with my mother-in-law’s help.  I sent out an e-mail to my whole family informing them of what I would be doing and inviting them to participate and donate their stuff for the sale.  Many people, family and friends, donated their stuff for this sale, including Aunt Judy. 

We posted signs all around the neighborhood as well as placed an ad on Craigslist.  The weather over the weekend was awful but the response was tremendous!  It rained and was cold and cloudy!  We’d drag it all out, set it all up, and then shuffle it all back in.  People would tell us they saw the ad on Craigslist and came specifically because of it.  One woman in particular came and donated $100 because her son has autism also.  There were so many different people we met who banded together to help support our causes.  I had these puzzle piece cards that I was supposed to bring to a store and request that they ask their customer at point of sale purchases if they would like to donate, but these cards that I had did not have any barcodes on them.  It would make that sort of thing difficult.  So I showed my mother-in-law the cards and she came up with this brilliant idea of making a THANK YOU wall!  For every person who purchased something we asked them what their first name was and thanked them for donating to our causes and decorated my garage doorways with their names.  If they purchased a certain amount we also gave them a pizza coupon card.

Together, my family and I were able to raise awareness for autism and help bring relief to my Aunt Judy.  We raised $1,524.12 with still a few more items to sell through other means.  I look forward to Walk day, standing together with my family and friends who support my son and my aunt. If I had a chance to do it all over, I would definitely do it again (on a warmer weekend!)!



  1. thank was very nice you gave me a few ideas and what nice picture.

  2. what a wonderful idea I had something similar to that idea last year for the phoenix autism walk 2009 in tempe but I was still a fristimer and at the same time I was still going thru the high and low’s
    the emotional rollercoster. It hit me perrty hard to hear my son and Autism in the same sentence. But His better know and we are signed up for the walk this year again maybe I can try the yardsale idea again…. any pointers?

  3. Thank you for sharing your story! I am planning to attend my first walk in Terre Haute, Indiana and the garage sale is a wonderful idea. Not only for me to raise some money to donate but for friends and family members that can’t contribute cash, I am sure they will want to donate items. Thank you again for sharing! :)

  4. Inspired me to do my own HUGE garage sale. sale date is August 28th & 29th. Wish me luck!!!!

  5. i my self have a four year old autistic son name alex thank u for ur story.

  6. great ideas! I have decided in the fall to have a yard sale for the cause. I am also looking for a walk close by for my family and I to attend. Thanks again!

    • Hi Irene, We’re excited to hear about your garage sale and that you’re looking to join a Walk. You can find a Walk event by going to or you can reach out to me with your city and state and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with your local walk. I’m available at

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