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Community chips in at local yard sale

Organizers ‘amazed’ by SCV generosity toward cancer-stricken single mom in Castaic

Posted: October 12, 2009 10:57 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Kathylane Hess who said she stopped recieving treatment for Leukemia, pulls a hot batch of lemon and white chocolate cookies from the oven in her Castaic kitchen on Thursday.

When cancer patient Kathylane Hess' friend set up a yard sale over the weekend to help the single mother pay for her future funeral expenses and her daughter's college education, they expected it would give Hess a little help.

But they did not expect hundreds of people to show up, shelling out cash.

"Oh, my heavens - it was phenomenal," said the 51-year-old single mother who said she has stopped chemotherapy treatments and has been told she may not live past November.

"I never thought the community could give so much love and so much hope. ... It was a very emotional day."

The yard sale was organized by a family friend, Newhall resident Sandy Meyer, who said donations from friends and strangers raised about $4,000.

"We're amazed," Meyer said. "It was beyond anything we imagined."

Meyer said televisions, household supplies, furniture and other items covered the side of her front yard, half of her garage and her entire three-car driveway and back porch. Shoppers were asked to offer donations of any amount for the items, which were also donated for the event, Meyer said.

"Hundreds (of dollars) were flying," said Meyer, who added that one man paid a check for $500. "It spoke of how God is working in this whole event."

Meyer got the idea from Hess after the single mom mentioned that she wanted to plan a yard sale to raise money for her expenses, Meyer said. Without telling Hess, Meyer said she placed advertisements in PennySaver and Recycler and sent e-mails to friends.

Flyers were soon posted in the community, Meyer said, adding that she does not know who put them up.

Hess did not learn about the yard sale until a few days before the event when her youngest daughter, 17-year-old Jenny Hess, walked by a store and saw a flier posted.

"I was completely surprised," Kathylane Hess said. "It was a blessing."

Meyer said she felt compelled to help her friend as she started to learn more about the family's situation.

"The more I got to know her, the more I'd find out little bits and pieces about the difficulties they're going through," Meyer said.

"They certainly do not make it evident. They're givers and they don't want anyone to know that they're in need of anything."

The funds will go toward Jenny's future college education and toward funeral expenses, such as the coffin and transportation from California to Hess' burial site in Salt Lake City, Hess said.

"It's also going to help us with our monthly utilities since I am on a very fixed income," Hess said.

Items left over from the fundraiser will be sold in a second yard sale this Saturday, Hess said. The sale will be held at her house at 27869 Johnson Road in Castaic from about 6:30 a.m. until the late afternoon.

Anyone interested in making further donations can contact Meyer at (661) 305-1700.


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