ST. CLOUD -- A yard sale is being held this week by the employees of the St. Cloud J.C. Penney to raise money for relief efforts in Nepal after last month's devastating earthquake.

"We can't have any control over what's happened, but at least we can make an effort to make things better," says Pratik Upadhyay, an employee at J.C. Penney who is from Nepal.

Upadhyay organized the yard sale in addition to his online fundraising, which has raised about $7,000 for the relief effort.

"I talked to my store manager, John, and we communicated with friends, family, the employees, and everything here (for sale) has been donated by them," Upadhyay says.

Despite a rainy first day, Upadhyay says the community still came out to support the cause.

"We actually already sold a lot of stuff today," Upadhyay says. "We have had a lot of support -- even if people haven't been buying anything, we have had people who've just donated for the cause."

Upadhyay says he appreciates the support shown by the community in the weeks following the disaster in Nepal.

"I work with customers every day and sometimes you don't think you've made an impact on customers," Upadhyay says. "But I've had [several] customers come to the store just to ask me how I was doing, and how my family was doing."

"It just feels good to have everybody's support and that support system encouraged me to [organize] this event."

The yard sale will run from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at 1100 25th Avenue North in St. Cloud.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON