Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fabulous & Frugal Fun: A Family Affair

The garage sales of Ruth Handel and Johanna Went are the kind of legendary events that LA thrift and vintage shoppers mark in red ink on their must-do lists. “We have regulars who show up year after year because they know that they will always find good things on the cheap,” Ruth says. Recently, the two joined forces with family and friends to create a garage sale where proceeds went to Los Angeles Retarded Citizens (LARC), a living environment that 100 Downs Syndrome residents – including Ruth’s brother, Danny -- call home.

Family members manned (and womanned!) the money box, neighbors brought over snacks and treats and friends turned it into a big block party party, one that raised hundreds of dollars for LARC. Ruth, who has always loved shopping thrift and discovering garage sale treasures, is passing that skill on to her son, Jobim. She remembers taking him at 18 months old to a garage sale he couldn’t tear himself away from a sponge toy baseball that he was dying to get his hands on, Handel says. “So now every time he sees jumble of stuff sitting in a yard that looks like it might be for sale, he always says to me, ‘Mommy, there’s a garage sale. Let’s go find a treasure!’"

For a massive treasure hunt in New York, click on the link to buy tickets to Housing Works' Design on a Dime event on May 7, where all proceeds go toward eradicating the double crisis of HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Tons of fun, amazing merchandise, and bargain-basement prices.

Family Fun from The Elegant Thrifter – Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

Handel photo by Bob Greenspan

For your own copy of The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details shop at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Powell's.

Cover photo by Jim Franco

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