WAXHAW – Isabella Santos may have lost her battle with cancer, but her legacy has never been stronger.
Family members, friends and neighbors rallied around Isabella during her battle with cancer and have continued to support her legacy, the Isabella Santos Foundation, with lemonade stands, 5K races and, now, a major charity yard sale.
The yard sale, organized by the Santos’s neighbor and Marvin Creek resident Andrea Isaac, is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, from 7 a.m. to noon at 500 Smokey Hollow Drive in Waxhaw. All proceeds from the event go to support the Isabella Santos Foundation.
Isabella was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue, at age 2 and died in late June 2012 at age 7. Shortly after Isabella’s diagnosis, her friends and family started the nonprofit Isabella Santos Foundation, which raises money for neuroblastoma research and supports organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.
“We’re a small foundation, so we’re always trying to come up with any way to raise money to keep funding a lot of the stuff that we do for cancer research and helping families who have young children with cancer,” Isaac said.
As Isaac and others who help with the all-volunteer nonprofit considered different fundraising options, they came up with the idea to see if community members have any items they’d like to donate to a charity yard sale instead of asking people to donate money.
Isaac began by sending out an email via her neighborhood’s internal website. From there it spread like wildfire via Facebook and word of mouth and items began pouring in, she said.
“The response has been absolutely overwhelming,” Isaac said, adding the items being stored for the sale have filled her large basement. “It’s taken on a mind of its own. It’s become a monster; bigger than anything we could have imagined times 10.”
Isaac said the sale will feature baby products, furniture, decorations, electronics, clothes and shoes for all ages, holiday décor, books, bicycles, lawn equipment and more.
“It’s great, expensive stuff people could sell themselves and keep the money, but they’ve wanted the money to go to the foundation,” she said.
The items will remain in her basement until the time of the sale, when she and volunteer helpers will move the merchandise outside to her yard. There also will be refreshments and breakfast food for sale, with proceeds benefiting the foundation.
Isaac said the original goal was to raise $1,000 through the sale, but volunteers who have seen the donations and helped price the items have already committed to buying $1,100 worth of merchandise.
“My goal was $1,000 and we’ve already exceeded that,” Isaac said.
Isaac, whose children used to play with Isabella, admits while the charity yard sale is an exciting endeavor to raise money for a good cause, it’s also an emotional time for everyone involved. She said the main thing she wants to accomplish through the sale is honoring Isabella.
“It’s definitely emotional because the foundation is run by (Isabella’s) parents,” Isaac said. “It’s obviously been an emotional year, but I think just seeing the outpouring of love and prayers and, just, giving that people do through the foundation is amazing. It gives you faith in people and reminds you that there are good people out there.”
For more information on the Isabella Santos Foundation, go to www.isabellasantosfoundation.com.