By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Gift Bags For Less Fortunate Brighten Day For Recipients
gift bags
Escalon youngster Avery Bartelink raised money through sales of items at the unofficial citywide yard sale earlier this month to create gift bags for the ‘less fortunate’ and recently handed out the bags, containing items such as socks, toiletries, hand sanitizer, snacks and more. Marg Jackson/The Times

She sold decorated pens, she sold painted rocks, she sold beads and even some small bouquets of flowers … all at very low prices and all to benefit a charitable cause she took on herself. Avery Bartelink, 9, of Escalon is a fourth grader at Van Allen Elementary School and, for the second year, she used the citywide yard sale to raise money to provide gift bags for those in need.

Though the yard sale was unofficial this year, it didn’t stop Avery from putting together a varied collection of reasonably priced items to raise money. With the cash, she purchased goods ranging from socks to hand sanitizer, some small personal toiletries for men and women, even some snacks to include in her gift bags. Then, with help from relatives, she loaded them up and made the short drive to Oakdale. There, she passed out the bags to those attending a recent Sunday afternoon dinner hosted at the Oakdale Rescue Mission along West G Street. Recipients were grateful for the gesture, sharing a smile with Avery and thanking her for the gifts.

“She was planning this for months,” pointed out mom, Mandy Bartelink.

Small pumpkins and gourds, bags of bird seed, some puffy pictures, all were best sellers at her table outside the family home in Escalon during the yard sale day in early October. Avery also had water bottles for sale, to help keep shoppers hydrated as they made their way around the community to take in the sales.

“The most money came from the pumpkins,” Avery said of the sale day.

She was happy to put together the small gift bags, which also included masks, tissue, chapstick, some dog treats for those with pets, and some homemade cookies.

“It was fun last year and I enjoyed doing it for them,” Avery said of why she wanted to help for a second year.

And while some youngsters participating in the sale may have cleaned out their closets to sell old clothes or perhaps unused toys to earn some money, Avery was a little bit more industrious.

“It was all stuff I made or things I turned into something else,” she said.

Then, the money got turned in to a way to help those in need.