Have you ever heard of the Buy Nothing Project? I hadn’t either until I saw a posting on our town news page on Facebook. Here’s a link to the organizations page in case you want to check it out.
The main concept behind this project is that community members give and receive freely in a group. There are no strings attached, so if you have something to give that you no longer need, you post it and people who are interested can share that they’d like it. You gift to whoever you choose, using whatever method you choose. Additionally, if you are in need of something you can post as well, and if anyone in your community has one to gift, they can pass it along your way!
The discovery and development of this group in my town was almost perfect timing as it came right after our first purge of items after watching Marie Kondo. I wished that we had the group sooner because I knew how much I had gotten rid of , and how many people could have benefited.
Here are some amazing ways it’s changed our lives:
Giving feeds the soul
There is such great positive energy attached to giving freely. I almost feel bad about how much I enjoy it myself as the “giver”. The best part of that positive energy is that it doesn’t just spread, it grows!
It saves our stuff from landfills
We have saved so many things from the trash by giving them new life. Sometimes we have something that is broken and we don’t know how to fix, but we are able to pass it along to someone who DOES know how to fix it.
It saves us money…. a lot of it!
There are so many little things we come across that we need which are added expenses to our household. With this group, I have been able to receive so many things we have needed or wanted including an outdoor playhouse for our daughter, a new dining room table and chairs, a new tea party table, party supplies, snowpants and snow boots for my kids (I mean they outgrow them so quickly and they’re super pricey!), and even a whole wardrobe of size 3 clothing. The think I’m looking forward to most is gifting many of these things again when my kiddos outgrow them!
We have found some really cool things
One of my most recent finds was a Dreamsicle tea party figurine. When I was little I used to collect those things religiously from a store called Noah’s in our local mall. Anytime I got money for my birthday, I went right there! And now I have a little tea party figure to give to my girl! I also found a jewelry box a local friend had stored for years. It’s the EXACT same one I had when I was a little girl! I can’t wait to give it to my daughter when she’s a little older and more careful. That’s priceless!
It defeats the lack mindset
Here’s the really cool thing… when you begin to give and then receive the things you need, there’s this sort of feeling that there’s enough in this world. I used to kind of hoard things away because one day I might need something. Now I realize that if I give away this bag of random art supplies to someone who can use them now, I can probably ask for the random thing I am looking for down the road and chances are someone might have it to gift away! As more people begin to see the kinds of things people are willing to give away, they become more likely to give themselves, realizing that this is a group of generosity!
It’s not just about stuff, it’s about community
Here’s the cool thing, not only do you get to meet, chat, and share with members of your community, but there’s a huge opportunity to help others. I’ve seen people go to help a woman who had a tree come down on her fence. Someone had help getting their siding fixed on the side of the house. We had a chair that was in rough shape, a gentleman offered to fix it up if anyone had fabric. Someone else donated fabric, he was able to fix the chair and then gift it to someone who needed it! It’s truly about working together.
I have especially seen, right before my eyes, the good in our community. When someone welcomes a foster child unexpectedly and needs things, people flock to give. When a single parent is struggling at Christmas time, we dig deep into our things to see how we can help. It’s just so heart warming, and it really is changing lives.
If you’re thinking you might be missing out and you’d love to have a group like this in your town, you can search here to see if one already exists: https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/
If you’d like to start a group, you can go here: https://buynothingproject.org/start-a-group/