A community garage sale fundraiser for 9-year-old car crash survivor Eden Miranda brought in slightly more than $21,500 on Saturday, according to the event’s organizers.
The group Lodi Strong, which was organized on Facebook the day after the Oct. 22 collision by Shara Styles and Tracey Roletto, coordinated the event at St. Peter Lutheran Church. The collision at the intersection of Ham Lane and Vine Street took the lives of Eden Miranda’s parents Luis Miranda Ochoa, 32, and Viviana Rodriguez Salgado, 31, who was seven months pregnant, and their children Irvin Miranda, 12, Jose Luis Miranda, 6, and Stephanie Miranda, 5.
In addition to selling multiple truckloads of donated items — including a load hauled by a 53-foot truck brought over by Vaz Brothers Inc. to help move items from drop centers to the church — the group also sold T-shirts that read “Keep Calm and Lodi Strong,” donated by Dos Reis Logowear.
Styles said more than 50 volunteers helped to move, sort and sell items starting Friday afternoon. After filling St. Peter’s gymnasium on Friday night, Styles said they returned at 3 a.m. Saturday to began sorting garage sale items up until the sale started at 7:30 a.m. She said people were lined up outside the church waiting to shop at 5 a.m.
“The community literally came together for this,” Styles said Monday. “It was amazing.”
She said that while a few people tried to haggle over the price of items, many more were willing to pay more to support Eden Miranda.
“Some people would have $8 worth of stuff and give us a $20 bill,” Styles said. “One guy had maybe $20 worth of stuff and gave us a $100 bill. A dentist from Lodi came by and gave us a check for $250.”
She said the event would not have been possible without the help of Another Level CrossFit and House of Coffees, which served as drop-off centers for garage sale items. She also thanked Dos Reis Logowear for donating the T-shirts and Vaz Brothers Inc. for helping to move the items.
The money collected at the garage sale has been deposited into an account established at the Bank of Stockton for the Miranda family after the accident by Vaz Brothers, where Eden’s mother Viviana Rodriguez worked.
Styles said she and Phil Vaz are waiting for a few more donations to come in, and then they will close the account and turn the money over to another account created by the Lodi Unified School District, where Eden Miranda and his brothers and sister were students. The school district is planning on converting the account into a trust fund that will be available for Eden after he turns 18.
Eden Miranda is recovering from his injuries at a Sacramento area hospital.
Contact reporter Todd Allen Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.