Brandon Lavender, 11, is no stranger to giving back. Brandon was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2001, and now he is in his seventh year of treatment.
For the last three years, Brandon has held a yard sale to raise money for The Tomorrow Fund, a non-profit organization that has been working since 1985 to aid families undergoing the financial stress of childhood cancer. This year’s sale will be held on March 31st at 25 Mawney Ave., Warwick from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Hoxsie School fifth grader hopes his fourth annual sale will surpass the $2,006 raised last year.
In his first effort Brandon raised $148, by selling his own toys plus a few contributions from his mother. His second year came in at $249.
Helping him are his mother, Sandra Lavender, his aunt, Jessica Lavender, and his grandmother, Melody Lavender. Since the first year, the family has received countless donations from friends and family. In addition to donations, Brandon said, “People help out by giving more money, something might cost five dollars but they give me twenty and say ‘keep the change’.” Items at this sale include baby clothes, toys, and various household items. Anyone can donate to help Brandon’s cause, whether they bring their own items to the yard sale or give money to the family directly.
Sandra says, “Brandon organizes the whole thing, from making lists to spreading the word around town.” To spread the word, Brandon makes flyers and posters and puts them up around the neighborhood. His mother made a Facebook page for the yard sale titled, “Brandon’s 4th Annual Yard Sale” where users can ask questions about donating.
Hoxsie School is even getting involved. Principal, Gary McCoombs, aims to spread the word around school and to the student’s parents by Friday. He said, “I will be making announcements over the loudspeaker, and at lunches to get the word out, as well as sending a mass email to all the parents.”
Last year, there were so many donations that the Lavender family extended the yard sale an extra day because there was not enough lawn space to hold all the donations on the first day. Brandon hopes the turnout will be even better this year, and expects the yard sale to last two days again.
In response to how he feels today seven years free of Leukemia, Brandon said, “I feel pretty good and I am happy to help out.”