By James Grob, email@example.com
Jeff Zimmer and Bob Clark of Collective Goods are selling a lot more than books.
The shelves at the Collective Goods Fair in the Veterans Room at the Floyd County Medical Center Monday were filled with toys, gifts, games, gadgets and other accessories — high-tech and low-tech — from Bluetooth Beanies to a simple deck of playing cards.
A little stuffed doggy sang a country tune on the guitar, while some stuffed owls right next to the pup sang a lullaby.
And the money from everything sold went to a good cause.
Also among the variety of items on sale were electronics, children’s books, interactive books, cell phone accessories and Bluetooth speakers.
Zimmer said that most of the merchandise Collective Goods sells ranges in price from $3 to $30.
A percentage of all the sales Monday will go to the FCMC Auxiliary.
Most customers who bought something Monday also registered for a drawing with a prize of one item of choice. Zimmer said the winner could choose from “anything in the store except for the cash register.”
“We go around to different hospitals and other groups and do fundraisers that last anywhere from one to four days,” Zimmer said.
Collective Goods, previously known as Books Are Fun, is a fundraising group that finds unique gifts and other items that aren’t widely available and sells them to raise money for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations. They sell the items and return the profits to support public education, health care and other causes.
“They changed the name to better reflect that they are a fundraising company, to make people more aware that’s what they do,” Zimmer said.
On its website, Collective Goods says it has helped more than 50,000 schools around the country get books and educational resources while providing teachers a convenient, low-cost shopping option. It has also helped thousands raise money to support services like cancer research and outpatient resources. Money is also raised to help support local food banks, veteran affairs, religious organizations and animal shelters.
Zimmer said that Books Are Fun, which got its start in Fairfield, raised more than half a billion dollars for various charities over 25 years.
The group usually comes to Charles City twice a year, once before Easter and once before Christmas, Zimmer said. They’ve been coming here since 2006. They stopped here last fall and plan to return on Monday, Nov. 18.
The FCMC Auxiliary, formed in 1960, provides many services to the medical center, patients and the surrounding communities. It states that its mission is to “improve the health and well-being of the community members we serve.” Services include patient escort, the gift shop, offering scholarships and sponsorships, blood drives, equipment purchase and public relations.