The Historic Macon Foundation (HMF) held its semi-annual flea market recently, running for three days from March 31 to April 2. The market has been a staple of Macon's yearly calendar of events since it started more than 40 years ago.
The market offered a wide array of furniture, sporting goods and art, along with many other knick-knacks. People in the Macon area are responsible for all of the goods sold at the market, said Oby Brown, the Director of Communications for HMF.
The prices were on the lower end, and much of the merchandise was dated but well-preserved. There were limits to what was sold at the sales, and the rules are available on the HMF website. The restrictions are placed so as to avoid overwhelming the space with many products that are found at second-hand stores or goods that are difficult to find buyers for.
In the days leading up to the sale, everything was dusted and cleaned before the first shoppers were allowed into the warehouse. Brown said the craftspeople of HMF rectify minor imperfections of products, like wobbly legs and surface cracks, before they were put up for sale.
The organization relies heavily on volunteer efforts to get the event ready for the public. Everything from gathering the goods from individuals’ homes to taking inventory on the stock is done by people who care deeply about the HMF. Brown said 48 volunteers worked almost 1,800 hours in order to prepare the space for the sale, in addition to getting the merchandise to the location of the market.
Brown said that the HMF accepts volunteers throughout the year because of how much work there is to be done before each market opens. There are a range of options for those seeking to donate time to the organization.
“It is hard work and these volunteers are great. They go out sometimes three, four or five times a week and get heavy chests of drawers, tables, and cabinets,” Brown said. “They’re the best, they’re great and that is the lifeblood of the sale.”
The money raised from the sale goes towards the HMF’s continued efforts to rehabilitate buildings in Macon that have fallen into disrepair. To Brown’s estimation, the organization saved roughly $35,000 in volunteer hours alone, reserving those funds for completing projects around Macon that will continue to pay off for the city for years to come.