A weekend shopping event is helping families ease the financial strain of the pandemic as the holidays approach.

The event is called Kid’s Closet Connection, a local endeavor that’s part of a national consignment franchise of the same name. It’s organized by Emily Berriochoa, who’s signed on as a franchisee with the business.

The idea behind the event is to provide top quality children’s clothing, toys, furniture and accessories at reduced prices while saving families money and putting a little money in sellers’ pockets. The weekend event is three days — Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Shopper’s Forum Mall, 1255 Airport Way — and Berriochoa anticipates more than 100 consigners will be on hand selling everything from Transformer toys to Dr. Seuss books to clothes from brands like Gap, Old Navy or Gymboree as well as baby beds, breast pumps and other gear for new families. Prices normally range 60-90% off retail. 

“We try really hard to make sure the stuff we’re putting out there is worth buying,” she said Wednesday as sellers set up shop at Shopper’s Forum. 

The first Kid’s Connection sale event she organized was in fall 2018 with another held this past summer. Each time, more consigners have joined, she said, ultimately putting more items on the market. This weekend’s event is her fifth to date.

Items for sale must be good, quality products in working condition, quite often things that children have just outgrown or stopped using. With winter here, Berriochoa pitched it as a good way to find affordable cold weather gear for children.

The event also comes with a big charitable push. While there is no cost to attend the three-day event, shoppers can opt to buy a special charity presale ticket for $10 that allows them early access to items. Proceeds from the $10 presale ticket are going back to help FYNDout Free Pregnancy Center. Other agencies seeing some help from Kid’s Closet Connection include The Door youth shelter and Fairbanks Resource Agency. 

Santa’s Helpers, an organization that helps provide Christmas gifts to children in need, will have a bin set up for community donations. Berriochoa also is offering a goodie bag for the first 500 shoppers.

The benefit of the presale charity night is for expectant moms, Berriochoa said. “They get to shop for current maternity clothing.”

The sale comes with a healthy does of green inspiration as well just by its nature: Reusing, reselling, and recycling, ultimately keeping items out of the transfer sites or landfill. Another bonus is the money stays in local pockets, Berriochoa said. 

For the pandemic-conscious, face masks are required, social distancing is encouraged, and plenty of hand sanitizer will be on hand. “I want people to be comfortable,” Berriochoa said.

For more on the Kid’s Closet Connection holiday event, visit www.facebook.com/KCCfairbanks or go online to www.kidscloset.biz.

Thursday’s presale hours are 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Shopper’s Forum, and a purchased ticket is required. Presale hours are also slated for Friday. Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.

Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or at twitter.com/FDNMfeatures