New Neighbors Donate Canoe and Kayak!

Someone will be paddling in style, thanks to the generous donation of an Old Town canoe and a kayak to the Mount Vernon Community School PTA’s Big Flea. The donation comes from a family whose only tie to MVCS is a desire to help a local school.

Cathy Burke and her husband Kevin moved to Alexandria only in September, relocating from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Their two children, now in college, attended public schools. “We believe in the value of public education to local communities and society in general,” says Cathy.

When their children were younger, the Burkes often brought the watercraft with them on family camping trips along the Schuykill River in Valley Forge National Historic Park. Cathy says she and her husband and kids had fun times with their canoe and kayak, but that they hadn’t used them in more than a year. “Seeing them idle in the garage was often a bittersweet reminder of how quickly our children grew up.”

The Burkes decided to donate the canoe and kayak to a worthy cause, but first they had to choose a charity. They first learned of the Big Flea when their neighbor’s house was being used as a drop-off point for donations. But it wasn’t until later that Cathy noticed a Big Flea announcement on a neighborhood listserv, offering pickups for large donations.

She thought about her old canoe and kayak. She liked the idea of helping her neighborhood school, and she loved the convenience of simply e-mailing websterbigflea@gmail.com to arrange for someone to pick up her items. She had found her worthy cause.

The sale of the Burkes’ canoe and kayak, along with other Big Flea proceeds, will allow the MVCS PTA to continue supporting student field trips, after-school clubs, classroom projects, and other school activities.

“We’re glad we could help to supplement and enrich the programs at the local elementary school in our new neighborhood” by donating the items, says Burke. “We hope that the new owner enjoys using them as much as we did.”

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