Pilot Staff Writer

In life, Evelyn Barber of Brookings-Harbor was such a committed contributor to the American Red Cross, even death couldn't stop her from making one last donation.

For 50 years, Barber donated her time, her blood and - when she could - her money to American Red Cross.

She encouraged her children to do the same. Her love for the organization was obvious. So when Barber died Oct. 24, her daughter Ede Viale of Brookings knew exactly how to honor her mom.

andquot;She didn't have anything,andquot; Viale said. andquot;She just had knickknacks.andquot;

But Viale saw in those knickknacks an opportunity to carry out her mother's will.

So on Dec. 4, she held a memorial garage sale.

andquot;It started out to be a small thing,andquot; Viale said.

It didn't end that way: Viale raised $625 for the local Red Cross through the garage sale.

And Bi-Mart promises to match that. The money is earmarked for disaster services on the South Coast.

Barber was a member of the South Coast Disaster Action Team.

andquot;She had nothing ... but people showed up in droves,andquot; Viale said.

It probably didn't hurt that Viale didn't price anything at the sale; instead she told people to andquot;give from their heart.andquot;

andquot;And did they ever,andquot; she said.

andquot;I never dreamed it would go this far.andquot;

Benefits of the sale extended beyond the money raised.

andquot;It sure helped me deal with the loss a little bit,andquot; Viale said.

andquot;When I was at that garage sale, I was smiling all day long.

andquot;It's been a positive thing all the way, through all the tears,andquot; Viale said.

Viale hopes to make the memorial garage sale an annual event.

Through December, Bi-Mart will match any Red Cross donations earmarked for disaster services.

Mail donations to American Red Cross, South Coast District, P.O. Box 1175, Coos Bay, OR 97420.