A Yard Sale With a Heart

LA Young Workers ' virtual sale benefits Local 600 Hardship Fund

May 26, 2020
Volunteers from the Los Angeles Young Workers team who organized the virtual yard sale. Clockwise from top left: Amanda Darouie, Matthew Borek, Pony Gold, Angelia Sciulli and Carissa Dorson.
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The Local 600 Hardship Fund got a boost and several ICG members landed great deals on some valuable equipment, all via an inventive Memorial Day weekend fundraiser.

The three-day Virtual Yard Sale organized by the Los Angeles Young Workers (LAYW) raised more than $7,000, with all proceeds going toward the Local 600 Hardship Fund which is offering help to members in need during the pandemic.

From 9 am Saturday until 6 pm Monday, bargain-hunting members from across the country jumped online to snap up an assortment of cameras, lenses, bags, lighting, tools and other equipment, all of which were donated by Local 600 members and friends. More than 175 items were purchased.

“It was great to see such positive feedback from so many donors and buyers,” said Angelia Sciulli, one of the LAYW team members who helped organize the event. “It’s all for a good cause. We’re helping out members who are struggling right now.”

The seeds for the fundraiser were planted in April during the Young Workers’ virtual meet-up. At that meeting, Director of Photography and guest speaker Amy Vincent, ASC, challenged the group to come up with innovative ways to help their fellow members.

During the collective brainstorming session, members hatched the idea of a yard sale where shoppers could browse safely, while avoiding crowds and face-to-face rummaging. The call went out for donations, and team leaders Sciulli, Amanda Darouie, Carissa Dorson, Pony Gold, and LAYW Co-Chair Matthew Borek spent the next few weeks working out the logistics. As a cost-saving measure, the team developed its own event website so they didn’t have to pay a third party host like eBay or GoFundMe.

Donations were plentiful, with some members including National Executive Board members offering dozens of items.

Members got their shopping groove on from the opening of the sale. The site was structured so that when someone expressed interest in an item, the volunteer team received an email. Sciulli, Darouie, Dorson and Gold would check to see whether the item was still available and – if it was – they collected payment via PayPal, Venmo or Zelle. A couple of shoppers who tried to bargain an item down were placed on a hold list to be re-contacted at the end of the sale if the item had not sold at the originally listed price.

The ongoing activity meant that the volunteer team leaders were “on” for much of the three-day holiday weekend. For Sciulli, a camera operator who joined the union in January, the whole experience was fun.

“The volunteers all talked about how once we got into a groove, how much fun it was,” said Sciulli. “It was a good team. We worked well together and we were constantly telling jokes and always staying on top of things. If we get more donations, we’d like to do this again in the future.”

“The team worked tirelessly to make it happen and it was amazing to see this come to fruition in less than a month,” added Borek. “I want to thank the donors and buyers, as this fundraiser will directly impact multiple members in a very positive way, and it would not have been possible without them.”

In adding her kudos, Vincent also called out Sciulli, Darouie, Dorson, Gold, and Borek.

“’I am so grateful to the Young Workers for showing us a look into a bright post-pandemic future where creativity, collaboration, generosity, and hard work all contribute to the greater good,” Vincent said. “Anyone will be lucky to have one of these Young Workers on their crew!”

Donate to the Local 600 Hardship Fund here.

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