What did it accomplish?
So the Academy neighborhood yard and garage sale has come and gone. I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this question: Was it worth it? The answer I have arrived at is "yes" and here are a few reasons why.
Our neighborhood deserves what other neighborhoods have, and no one is going to simply give us these things. One of the small events that most "named" (Glenwood, Frontier) neighborhoods in the City of Erie hold every year is an organized sale. The organized neighborhood sale might not seem like much. But the organized sale acts as a signal to the rest of the city and region that the people living here have their act together. They are organized, care about their neighborhood, and want other people to visit their neighborhood. It's nice to make a few bucks selling cast-off items, but the real goal of the sale is much larger than that. The real goal is to draw attention to our neighborhood in a positive way.
Another reason, and hopefully the biggest reason, that the sale was a success in my eyes, is that it has started the ball rolling for our neighborhood association. I am hoping that the Academy Neighborhood Association does more than just organize a yard sale every year. There are many ways we can work together to improve our neighborhood: organized efforts to draw attention to blighted properties, fundraising for neighborhood beautification projects, and simply talking about our neighborhood in a positive light.
Making the Academy Neighborhood Association into an active, vibrant organization isn't going to be easy, but the work has already started. More than 30 homes participated in the neighborhood sale and our Facebook page has 11 "likes". I don't know the exact path we are going to take, but I'm glad we have started down the path. And I'm even more excited that you have chosen to join me!