How bargain shopping helps needy families

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Posted July 23, 2021 | By Susan Smiley-Height, Ocala Gazette

Everyone loves a bargain–and even more so when it can help families and charities.

The Just Between Friends pop-up consignment sale model is set up so everyone wins. Sellers of children, teens and maternity items get 60% of the sales. Buyers can get savings of between 50% to 90% off retail prices. And when the sale is over, the unsold items can go to charity.

Julie Worsham, who, with her mother-in-law Myra Worsham, owns the Just Between Friends (JBF) Ocala consignment sale franchise, said their local sales support Kids Central Resource Centers.

Kids Central is the lead nonprofit agency charged by the State of Florida to treat and prevent child abuse in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties.

“The neighborhood-based resource centers were created to engage families in services that promote family well-being, safety and health,” Worsham explained. “The resource centers involve residents, families and resources from the community to assist families to reach their full potential. The goal is to strengthen families and build strong neighborhoods. Local families who are in need can shop the resource center closet for clothing and shoes. The Ocala JBF event has donated more than $35,000 in in-kind donations and $5,000 in cash donations.”

The next JBF event will be held July 30-Aug. 1 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road. The event is free, but there is paid admission for a July 29 presale event. Items are half-price all day on Aug. 1.

Worsham said she began consigning with JBF in 2012.

“I made about $500 my first time, and I was hooked,” she recalled. “I always loved consignment and thrift stores. I wanted to open a consignment store and began looking into the possibility about 20 years ago. In 2017, my mother-in-law decided to make the investment with me, and we bought the Ocala franchise. We started the Ocala event from scratch, and now we expect about 1,000 shoppers at this next sale.”

She said the sale is a good way to help families stretch their money.

“JBF sales carry just about everything you could need for kids and expectant mothers, including clothing and shoes (sizes newborn to teen), baby equipment, children’s furniture, books, sporting equipment, baby swings, strollers, cribs and lots of toys,” she said.

The event benefits the consignors as it puts money back in their pockets.

“The average consignor check is $350,” Worsham said. “Consignors can also work at the event. They are paid an hourly rate, and it is a great opportunity to meet local families.”

Jocelyn “Casey” James is the Ocala sale coordinator. She started as a volunteer with JBF about three years ago.

“As my friendship with Julie grew and I moved into full-time self-employment, my availability to help with the sale increased,” she said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being more involved in the entire process. Kids Central serves foster kids, and after the last sale, we donated clothing that filled up an extra-large SUV.”

Worsham said the JBF franchise system started as a living-room sale in 1997 in Oklahoma and grossed $2,000. Today, there are more than 160 sales in 32 states. Sales typically span three to five days and generally are offered two times a year. Each sale supports at least one local charity with in-kind donations and, in many cases, cash. Since beginning, Just Between Friends sales have donated more than $28 million in in-kind and cash donations to hundreds of charities across the country, Worsham said.

To learn more, go to For information about Kids Central, visit

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