Notes from Windward: #68


The Useful Goods Exchange

building community through exchange


     Karen Hery is a member of Windward's Away Team. She lives in Portland and is the facilitator of the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op. This past weekend was the second annual Useful Goods Exchange. I had the opportunity to participate in the event and provided a helping hand keeping the tables organized as merchandise came and went.

     The exchange, on Saturday, is a huge garage sale but instead of price stickers you bring useful stuff that you don't need anymore and exchange it for stuff you do need/want. On Sunday, the remaining items were sold, almost everything was $1, and the proceeds will benefit the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op, the Sunnyside Environmental School, and the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. Sunday afternoon everything that didn't find a home was packed up so the gym and cafeteria would be ready for school Monday morning. Several different charities and a teen thrift store will be receiving the items.


     I had a blast Saturday talking with people and finding out what they brought to trade or what they were heading home to bring back to exchange for what they were finding. It was really neat to watch people find that perfect item to take home. I most enjoyed explaining the rules about shopping first or swapping first and seeing their eyes light up when they realized they could take their finds home first then return with their swap items.

     The total amount of "merchandise" stayed about the same throughout the day but the turnover was phenomenal. One family brought in a trombone. Another took it in exchange for a keyboard they weren't using with the plan to trade it in at a music store toward the purchase of the guitar they wanted. A little girl brought home roller-skates and skated to school this morning. Her sister has a fabulous new velvet dress. It was great to see everything get a fresh breath of life, a new home, and occasionally a new use.

To learn more about the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op Click Here

To learn more about the Useful Goods Exchange Click Here

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68