By Marie Roberts / Guest Writer
The Meridian Star
With a passion for sales and a knack for trading, Meridian native Andy Johnson is using his skills to raise funds for area charitable organizations.
“It started out with me and some friends having a garage sale to raise money for Relay for Life. Now we buy, sell, or trade things on a daily basis to turn a profit for the causes we care about,” Johnson said.
On any given day, Johnson will post something for sale or trade in various ways – via Facebook groups like "Lauderdale County MS, Buy Sell Trade," or through Craigslist. He states his price or trade value, sells the item, then donates 15 percent of his profit to various local charities.
“I realized I could make some money and make a difference here in Meridian,” Johnson said. “I got into picking items out that I thought would sell easily, and then I made a list of organizations I wanted to help support.”
Some of his most common contributions are to the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, Relay for Life, his local church, and Hope Village for Children.
“I know I’ll never be able to make a huge donation, but if I can send a little along, that’s helping, too,” Johnson said.
To date, his most successful contribution was the result of a trade: “I found an old cedar chest in a flea market and bought it for $100. I ended up trading it for an old golf cart. After cleaning it up and replacing the batteries, I sold it for around $700,” Johnson said.
“I’m not saying the buy, sell, trade business model is the best one out there, but it lets me make a little spending money and give back to my community,” Johnson said.
For now, Johnson continues to focus on finding that next item for sale or trade, and hopes his contributions will make a positive impact.
“Every little bit helps,” Johnson said. “You can’t take it with you when you go so you might as well give it while you can.”