Middle School Students Find Creative Financing Solution

education

In this economy, it is not always easy for middle school students to find a way to pay for their annual field trip. Most middle school students try to finance their educational outings with bake sales and magazine subscriptions, supplemented by donations from the parent-teacher organization and a healthy contribution from parents. Students and faculty at Port Charlotte Middle School, though, decided they needed to find another way. They began holding an annual garage sale every January – though to be accurate, it is really a cafeteria and multipurpose room sale.

This year’s garage sale was held on Saturday, January 30, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the middle school, and between 300 and 400 people attended. The sale garnered $2500 for the 7th grade field trip, according to geography teacher Barbara Davis.

This year, the annual 7th grade field trip will be to Epcot Center. Any leftover funds will be used to help pay for other 7th grade activities.

“Many students can’t afford a class trip to Epcot Center,” says Roby Love, one of the garage sale’s biggest supporters. Love is the site manager for the Harborview Road Extra Space facility. Extra Space donates to the garage sale every year, donating a large self-storage unit to hold all the donations.

“We could not do it without Extra Space Storage,” said Davis. “The local staff is extremely helpful – they go out of their way to help.”

Extra Space also collects donations from its tenants at its monthly auction/lien sale (at a lien sale, people buy the contents of abandoned units sight unseen, and sometimes end up with items that they do not want or need). Last year, Love says, Extra Space filled the donated unit with donations and then had to donate another unit to hold the rest. This year, the unit filled up in two weeks, she says, laughing, “and the school asked that we not collect any more!” Last year, the school raised about $3000 from the Extra Space donations.

Holly covers the storage industry and has recently been examining self storage in Port Charlotte.