When Millers Flat resident Shirl Marsden started the Teviot Valley Garage Sale Trail nine years ago, its purpose was two-fold.
‘‘It was to get people to visit our beautiful valley, and we had heard about a wee baby in Roxburgh who needed a transplant.’’
The trail became an annual event, providing financial support for the first four years for that girl, whom Mrs Marsden described as ‘‘a dear wee girl’’ who is ‘‘doing well at school now’’.
Looking to assist other local children with serious illnesses or in need of ongoing treatment, Mrs Marsden decided to start a fund, and Teviot Valley Kids Count came into being.
The garage sale trail grew from year to year, with three properties joining the first year and up to 30 by its fifth. Three years ago, prior to Covid lockdowns, 77 households took part, Mrs Marsden said.
The event went ahead every year, despite Covid, although government regulations reduced numbers a little, and the 2021 trail raised about $5000, she said. Seven local children with health needs have received grants this year so far.
Mrs Marsden also started ‘‘Shirl’s Girls’’ more than two years ago, to help people meet others in the community.
The idea for that came from a new arrival in the area who was living alone and didn’t know many people, and the ‘‘girls’’ now meet for coffees, movie outings or a show, or simply to chat with others.
Mrs Marsden was crowned Senior Queen at this year’s Alexandra Blossom Festival, for the amount of work she puts in to the community.
This year’s garage sale trail takes place on Saturday, with households still signing up to take part in the event.
More than $3000 had already been raised from sponsorship and donations, before counting in the $25 fee to be on the trail map and the $5 map fee for buyers.
‘‘It’s absolutely incredible. People are really generous.’’
Maps would be available at Faigans Cafe and Store in Millers Flat, Benger Garden Cafe in Ettrick and Super Value Roxburgh.
It’s always worthwhile, Mrs Marsden said.
‘‘People have so much fun and so do the garage salers — the people who run the stalls really love the day.
‘‘It brings the village together.’’