160-mile-long yard-sale corridor provides platform for nonprofit

By Angela Spencer Published July 27, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: William Harvey

Rachel Campbell, left, and Laveda Freeman stand with items from their stores.

BEEBE — It is time to either gather up items to sell or check under the couch cushions for cash to go shopping. A 160-mile stretch of highway will soon beckon with its offerings of antiques, collectibles and a myriad of yard-sale items.

The 15th annual Bargains Galore on 64 will take place Aug. 7-9 along U.S. 64 between Beebe and Fort Smith. The event is open to vendors, individuals and nonprofits who want to peddle their wares to eager shoppers.

In Beebe, First Baptist Church at 101 U.S. 64 will open one of its buildings so that vendors can set up their wares out of the heat. One such vendor is Kelly’s Second Chance, a local faith-based nonprofit that helps people who are struggling with drug additions.

Kelly’s Second Chance was named for a man who was killed in a car accident after completing rehab for drug addiction.

“At his funeral, they read a prayer he had written to God, asking to give him strength to get through each day,” said Laveda Freeman, a volunteer with Kelly’s Second Chance. “We decided to start something to help people going through that.”

The idea to help recovering drug addicts started as a plan to establish a halfway house, volunteer Rachel Campbell said, but the plan changed, and the nonprofit now provides a hotline for people who want to get into rehab and don’t know where to start.

Additionally, Kelly’s Second Chance financially supports other like-minded organizations such as John 3:16, Renewal Ranch and the drug recovery portion of the Compassion Center.

Kelly’s Second Chance has been in operation for 10 years, and Campbell said the organization’s call volume at the hotline varies from month to month.

“We probably average three calls a month — sometimes more and sometimes not any,” she said. “But I am also contacted on my personal phone because of word of mouth. We’re able to direct [callers] where they need to go, and we’ve had a lot of success. We’ve gotten letters from people who we have been able to help.”

The nonprofit has three main fundraisers, including Bargains Galore on 64. Kelly’s Second Chance volunteers have set up a table at Bargains Galore for the past five years, and for the past three, they have sold items at First Baptist Church in Beebe.

Freeman said she takes items from her flea-market booth and gathers donated items for Kelly’s Second Chance’s table at Bargains Galore, and the nonprofit has experienced positive sales in past years.

“We do well,” she said. “It just seems like we have stuff that we look at and say, ‘Nobody wants this,’ but they do.”

There are a few benefits to being at the church for Bargains Galore, Freeman said. Restrooms in the building are available, and Freeman said there will probably be a fresh-lemonade stand. Other vendors will participate in Bargains Galore at the church, and the church’s youth group usually sells refreshments.

For more information on Kelly’s Second Chance or to donate or volunteer, call Campbell at (501) 882-6464. For more information on Bargains Galore on 64, visit www.bargainsgaloreon64.org.

Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or aspencer@arkansasonline.com.

Zoned Editions Staff Writer Angela Spencer can be reached at 501-244-4307 or aspencer@arkansasonline.com.

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