Students parlay garage sales into ongoing fundraising events for charities

Photo Bruce Barton/Town Crier Glenn Reddy, Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari, Jeremy Binkley and Alex Thomas, from left, are the primary forces behind a series of garage sales for charities.

Eighth-grade Harker School students, led by Glenn Reddy of Los Altos, are making an annual tradition of holding garage sales to benefit worthy causes.

This year’s fourth annual sale at the Reddy home, during the April 16-17 weekend, netted $1,150, which the students will donate to Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento.

“Over the past few years, we have raised money for places in Uganda, Costa Rica and India,” Glenn said in an e-mail interview with the Harker Quarterly, which his mother, Anita, forwarded to the Town Crier. “We sat down and realized this year that people need help locally and not just in other countries. ... Since I have been a patient at Shriners myself, I recommended the Shriners hospital as a group to donate to.”

Reddy started the garage sales in the fourth grade with classmate Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari through his club, Peace2Peace. Jeremy Binkley and Alex Thomas joined a year later and the four have been at it ever since.

“I was surprised how much we were able to get out of (selling items),” Gutierrez-Bujari said.

This year’s sale drew plenty of customers, including some who showed up at least 90 minutes before the scheduled 8 a.m. start.

Working with a sponsoring Harker teacher, the students in Peace2Peace have raised approximately $5,000 collectively through their garage sales. Each year, with a different sponsoring teacher, the club has targeted a humanitarian organization for donations.

Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, Peace2Peace raised $1,500 for AIDS Orphans Education Trust, an organization providing child welfare and medical assistance in Uganda. The following year, the club raised $1,000 for Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica. Last year, students raised nearly the same amount for Liza’s Home for disabled women in India.

The Harker School community donated hundreds of items for the sale, from books and movies to household items, furniture and old Elvis records.

“Peace2Peace has been an overall great experience for me,” Glenn said. “It has taught me how to work under time constraints, strong leadership skills and how to handle responsibility.”

Other students helping with this year’s sale included Sophia Shatas, Hannah Baz and Christina Andrus.

Harker School is a private K-12 school in San Jose.

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