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Garden City nonprofit benefiting children in need plans annual yard sale after pandemic pause 

The Andy Foundation plans to host its fundraiser

The Andy Foundation plans to host its fundraiser on Saturday at St. Paul's Field House in Garden City. Pictured here, the group's yard sale in 2018.  Credit: The Andy Foundation

A yard sale benefiting children in need on Long Island is back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The Andy Foundation’s biggest yearly fundraiser will be held Saturday at St. Paul’s Field House in Garden City from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The nonprofit will accept donations for the sale on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The nonprofit was founded in 2004 by Jill Sackman Palmeri after the death of her son, Andy. The 11-year-old boy died in 2003 when he was struck by a car while playing with his friends. He died five days later.

His mother described him as "a pistol" with a vibrant and magnetic personality. Andy loved all things Army, so the nonprofit’s logo features a camouflage shoe.

After Andy's death, his family and friends knew they wanted to create a project in his memory.

"We wanted to do something to raise money and really honor him and keep his friends involved," Sackman Palmeri said.

She settled on a yard sale as the main fundraiser to give Andy’s friends an easy opportunity to help. Volunteers from the first year and Andy’s friends still assist in the sale, she said. She called the continued success and community support of the sale "a tribute to the volunteers."

The first few sales were held in friends’ yards, but the mountain of donations and volunteers quickly outgrew neighborhood homes, which led the nonprofit to a bigger space at St. Paul’s.

"The generosity is unreal," the mom said. "It kept growing and growing."

Since its founding, the nonprofit has raised and distributed over $1 million to children in need. The bulk of the money comes from the sale, but funds also roll in from the nonprofit’s thrift store in Garden City Park and sponsors. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations can be made there, but an appointment is required.

Andy would be "super happy and super psyched" to know how many Long Island children were helped by the nonprofit, his mother said.

The Andy Foundation’s mission is purposefully broad in order to benefit as many children as possible.

Sackman Palmeri isn’t sure what this year’s sale will benefit, but previous years have helped children-based nonprofits and even individual families, like one year where the money benefited a family in need of a wheelchair-accessible van.

Volunteers with the nonprofit built an accessible playground at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, an equine therapy center in Islandia, using money raised from the 2019 sale.

The nonprofit is accepting donations that are in good condition, including housewares, pet items, indoor and outdoor furniture and vinyl records. To see the full list of items the nonprofit is seeking, visit @theandyfoundation on Instagram.

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