Helen Brown’s biannual cystic fibrosis yard sale interrupted by COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 15, 2020

By Shavonne Potts


SALISBURY — Like many events across the community, Salisbury resident Helen Brown’s biannual cystic fibrosis yard sale has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving her with the option to have two back-to-back yard sales in the fall.

This year’s events are scheduled for Oct. 9 and Oct. 10 at First Baptist Church, 223 N. Fulton St., and then again the following weekend on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17. Brown will announce specific times for the events at a later date.

Brown began hosting the yard sales outside her home about 17 years ago to raise money for cystic fibrosis research after two of her grandchildren were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. She will continue to collect items but won’t have her annual May yard sale.

Brown has raised $298,000 since she began the yard sales.

Her now-adult grandchildren, Michael and Anna, began taking a new medication about four months ago and their cough is gone, Brown reports. The oldest has children of her own, Brown said.

The thick mucus associated with cystic fibrosis clogs the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs producing a persistent cough. Brown began raising money for the research, and she’s confident her grandchildren and other cystic fibrosis patients have been able to benefit from research and testing.

“It does more than just raise money,” she said about her yard sale. “It keeps things out of the landfill. I think that’s awesome. I appreciate the support and look forward to seeing people in October.”

Up until a few years ago, Brown held the yard sales outside she and her husband Ralph’s Emerald Street home. The event continued to grow over the years and the Browns moved the event into the church’s Family Ministry Center, which is the former YMCA.

“It’s worked out well. I enjoyed having people come to my home and this is really better,” Brown said.

Anyone who would like to donate items to the yard sale can call Brown at 704-633-5902.